Despite the difficulties posed during this time of pandemic, the friars of the Provincial Delegation in Chile would like to commemorate and celebrate their 25th anniversary of presence in Chile. A new video is now available, the second in a series of videos made about the history and service of Franciscan evangelization in this country.
This second video focuses on the life and ministry of the friars at the friary in Copiapó, the first Conventual Franciscan presence in Chile.
On Sunday, January 22, 1995, our “Chilean adventure” began with an “exploratory journey” conducted by the then Minister Provincial of the Province of Padua, Friar Agostino GARDIN. With the permission of the Minister General, Friar Gianfranco SERRINI, set forth, accompanied by Friar Pedro BELTRAME, the Provincial Secretary of the Missions, and the Minister Provincial of the “Rioplatense” Province of Argentina-Uruguay, Friar Graziano ZANIN.
The friars arrived in Santiago, Chile, where they were hosted by the Friars Minor. They went to the area of Conchalí, north of the capital, where they visited the territory of the Parish of San Diego de Alcalá. After a brief visit with the Most Reverend Sergio VALECH, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago, the friars next went to Copiapó. There, they met with the Most Reverend Fernando ARIZTÍA RUIZ, Bishop of Copiapó, and some representatives of the presbytery. This gave the friars a more concrete idea about the possibility of being inserted into the Diocese of Copiapó.
The Vicar Provincial of Padua, Friar Giuseppe MARINI, in keeping with Motion No. 9 approved by the Provincial Chapter of 1994, having obtained the approval of the Bishop of Copiapó, the consent of the Provincial Definitory, and the placet of the Minister General, canonically erected the Friary of San Francisco de Asís in the city of Copiapó, on October 4, 1995, the Solemnity of our Seraphic Father St. Francis.
Since that long ago opening of the friary in Copiapó, many friars have passed through this fraternity, many viewpoints have been exchanged, many stories shared and many joys and hopes experienced. In these last twenty-five years, many sorrows have been heard as well, and many tears dried. There have certainly been difficulties and uncertainties. In a word, it has been a story full of service, passion and significant events in Chile.
Once again we thank the Lord for being with us and for giving us the ability to be instruments in his hands. Perhaps we were not always humble and patient, but we were always attentive and eager to carry out the Father’s will in fraternity. Finally, we give thanks to our dear St. Anthony of Padua, about whom the annals of the Delegation remind us: “the opening of the new mission in Chile is one of the most significant fruits of the celebrations for the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Anthony”.
The Friars of the Delegation in Chile