On August 23-29, 2021, the Minister General, Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI and the Delegate General for Missionary Animation, Friar Dariusz MAZUREK, made a fraternal visit to the friars of the Provincial Delegation in Burkina Faso, which jointly belongs to the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw) and the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo).
Friars Carlos and Dariusz visited the Saint Maximilien Kolbe Medical Center in Sabou, Burkina Faso, which offers many specialized services. They also celebrated Mass with some of the Center’s employees. While in Sabou, they met with the friars of the Delegation. At that time, the Minister General updated the friars with news of the Order from around the world. He also answered various questions, especially concerning the progress in implementing the various Motions of the 2019 General Chapter. The Minister General also visited a religious community of sisters who collaborate with the friars at the local Saint-Luc Parish Church.
In Ouagadougou, the country’s capital, there were several meetings. Friar Carlos met with the President of the Militia of the Immaculata (M.I.) in Burkina Faso, Jean Leonardi BALMA and with the M.I. Secretary, Jules DJIGUEMDE. He also met with the Minister of Health, Charlmagne Marie Rayang-Neweau Rayang-Newendé OUEDRAOGO, and later, with some postulants, one of whom came from a local Basic Ecclesial Community. Promoted by the episcopate, these communities have become an important part of the pastoral care of the local Church.
At the end of the visit, Friar Dariusz stayed on another week to preach a retreat at the Saint Antoine de Padoue Friary in Ouagadougou. The theme of the retreat was: “Being Witnesses of Hope.” Those attending the retreat included eight solemnly professed friars and two temporarily professed friars who are beginning their fraternal year (a year lived in a friary that is not a formation house).
It is worth mentioning that in September of 2021, the Delegation will prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the first Conventual Franciscans in Burkina Faso. The mission was founded by the Province of Abruzzo, which sent friars to the country in 2001. In 2002, an agreement was signed with the Province of Warsaw, which assumed responsibility for the mission while continuing to collaborate with the Province of Abruzzo.
Currently, the Delegation has two communities: one in Ouagadougou and the other in Sabou, which also has a filial house next to the medical center and the parish. The Delegation has eight solemnly professed friar-priests: four are from Burkina Faso, one is from Italy and the remaining three are from Poland. In a few weeks, another friar will be making his solemn vows. Regarding initial formation, the Delegation has four simply professed friars, five novices and six second-year postulants.
Friar Dariusz MAZUREK