Prot. N. 14/2021
Assisi, October 02, 2021
To all the Friars of our Orders
To the Franciscan Family
Dear Brothers of the First Order, Poor Clares,
Brothers and Sisters of TOR and OFS-YouFra,
May the Lord give you peace!
The next few years will be a time for us to recall some important events from the last years of St. Francis’ life.
In particular, from 2023 to 2026, we shall be commemorating what we prefer to call a single Franciscan Centenary, which will be held around the 2025 Holy Year. It will take place at different stages in order to commemorate the 800th anniversaries of the Rule, the Christmas at Greccio (2023), the Stigmata (2024), the Canticle of the Creatures (2025), and the Easter of Francis (2026). This Centenary is meant to be a multifaceted event in which several anniversaries will be celebrated.
This series of anniversaries will give us a valuable opportunity to commemorate, in a vivid and inspiring way, the evangelical charism that the Holy Spirit awakened in the Church through St. Francis.
We would like to celebrate this Franciscan Centenary in profound communion as a Family, in all the countries and contexts of the world in which we are present.
For this reason, at our meeting on October 2, 2021, in Assisi, we decided to support the preparation and celebration of this unique Centennial through our patronage as Ministers General.
To this end, we are establishing a Coordination Committee for the Franciscan Centenary. We call upon the Ministers Provincial of our Families in Central Italy, the Custos of the Sacred Convent in Assisi, and four representatives of our General Councils to participate with us in this coordination effort.
The Ministers General will be the contact persons for the Coordination Committee—the hub of the coordination effort. The Ministers General entrust the Committee with the following tasks:
• to ensure some common guidelines for deepening knowledge of our charism, within our fraternities and in the various entities that work with us;
• to coordinate the main points of collaboration between the activities of Rieti, La Verna, and Assisi, through the larger Ecclesial Coordination Committee, led by the aforementioned Ministers and the Custos, along with some other friars, the Poor Clares, the Franciscan Sisters, and the Secular Franciscans. The presence of the bishops of the three aforementioned dioceses in the Ecclesial Coordination Committee continues to spur us on to a deeper and more developed spirit of ecclesial communion, in keeping with the inspiration proper to our common charism;
• to provide recommendations to a working group of experts who are charged with creating an outline for learning more about our charism at each stage of the Centennial. This outline is to benefit the ongoing and initial formation programs in our Provinces, Custodies, and other Jurisdictions;
• to encourage, through the various initiatives, God’s people and civil institutions, providing them an opportunity to increase and proclaim their faith through dialogue, in order to foster mutual collaboration.
The importance of this Centenary is not lost on us. It is not limited to a few celebrations at our sanctuaries in central Italy. The Centenary is meant to serve all of us around the world in examining and learning more about the main points of our Franciscan charismatic identity.
The Franciscan Centenary, which will be celebrated through a series of anniversaries, will be proclaimed on November 29, 2021, at the Sanctuary of Greccio (Province of Rieti, Italy). At Greccio, St. Francis wanted to witness, personally, the poverty into which Jesus was born, so that we might be made aware of the beauty of a God who shares our human condition.
We are sure that this itinerary will be a very rich opportunity to revitalize our common inspiration and charismatic identity, not just for ourselves, but for the Church, which is on a pilgrimage to the men and women of this blessed and complex time. Through her, we may proclaim anew the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, via the blessing of universal fraternity and the safeguarding of creation.
As we prepare to set out on this journey, we offer you our heartfelt greetings and we wish you true, heaven-sent Peace and All Good in the Lord.
The Ministers General
Deborah Lockwood OSF
Tibor Kauser OFS
Massimo Fusarelli OFM
Roberto Genuin OFM Cap
Carlos Alberto Trovarelli OFM Conv
Amando Trujillo Cano TOR