On November 25-27, 2019, the annual meeting of the friars of the Provincial Delegation in Ecuador took place at the Provincial House of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Help of Christians in Quito, Ecuador.
The mission in Ecuador was founded on June 6, 1995, by the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk). Now it is a Delegation with four communities, namely, a rectory church in Tulcán, a parish and formation house in Quito, a parish and the “Alegría de vivir” charity center in Santo Domingo de los Tzachilas, and a parish in Shushufindi, which has fifty chapels in its territory.
During the meeting, the friars discussed various issues concerning the Delegation.
First, it was noted that the renovation of the church in Shushufindi and the painting of the church in Quito were completed this year. On November 17, the Church of Santo Domingo de los Tzachilas was consecrated by the Most Reverend Bertram Víktor WICK ENZLER, Bishop of Santo Domingo, Ecuador.
During March and August, two rounds of retreats for young people were held in Tanda, while some other retreats were organized in Tulcán for the altar boys.
Having completed his novitiate year in the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, Friar Gabriel MONTENEGRO made his simple profession of vows on July 28, 2019. In January of 2019, Friar Oscar David GAÓN MARTÍNEZ began his novitiate year in Medellín, Colombia, in the Provincial Custody of St. Francis of Assisi in Colombia. At the same time, four young men in formation began their philosophy studies after completing the postulancy program in Quito, while three new candidates began their postulancy program.
As part of the Delegation’s charitable activities, a clinical laboratory was established in Canoa. A decision was made to purchase a plot of land to create a parking lot for this center.
The difficult economic situation of the Santo Domingo Friary was also discussed. Income there has not been sufficient to meet daily needs. The friars also discussed a request to attain juridical personhood for the mission in Ecuador. To this end, the contracts with the Dioceses where the friars are serving have been reworked.
The Mission Econom reported on how this year’s budget was carried out. The budget was not fully implemented due to the recent strikes in the country.
With Franklin Antonio DURÁN ZAMBRANO, the Provincial Custos of the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela present, the issue of collaboration in the field of formation and studies was raised. The friars expressed their willingness to admit friar theology students from the Custody of Venezuela into friary in Tulcán.
In keeping with the Motions approved by the Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC), it was decided to extend the postulancy program for new candidates to two years. The headquarters for the program will be the Friary of Santo Domingo.
Next year, there will be several celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the mission in Ecuador. The main celebration is scheduled for October in Santo Domingo, and celebrations in other friaries will take place throughout 2020.
Additional events scheduled for the Delegation in 2020 include the Delegation’s annual spiritual retreat in February, the meeting of the Guardians of the Delegation in April and a meeting of the altar boys in August.
At the end of the meeting, Friar Tomasz RYŁKO, the Vicar Provincial of the Province of Gdańsk, presented his observations made during his canonical visitation, which he carried out in November, accompanied by Friar Grzegorz KORDEK, the Provincial Secretary.
Friar Michał SABATOWSKI