Our Order has only two friaries in Switzerland (Flüeli-Ranft and Fribourg). They are only a two-hour drive from each other. Despite this, for a long time, these communities were unable to hold a joint formation meeting.
Over the last two years, the pandemic made it impossible to conduct such joint events. However, on March 16-17, 2023, at the invitation of the Custos of the Provincial Custody of St. Leopold and St. Nicolas of Flüe in Austria-Switzerland, Friar Dariusz ZAJAC, and the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany, Friar Andreas MURK, the friars of both friaries in Switzerland were finally able to meet together at the friary in Fribourg. All of the friars living in Switzerland were able to participate in the meeting, except for one. Friar Vicent COSATTI, originally from Switzerland but currently serving in Rome at the Vatican Penitentiary, also participated.
In the first part of the meeting, the Minister Provincial of the Capuchin Province of Switzerland, Friar Josef HASELBACH, gave a spiritual reflection on the theme of being brothers and sisters. With the help of Franciscan texts, he addressed our constant need for reconciliation and conversion.
The Guardian of the friary in Fribourg, Friar Daniele BROCCA, presided over the celebration of Mass in the beautiful church of the friary.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to reports. Friar Andreas gave a report on the “Midway” meeting of the Order’s superiors in January of 2023, in Rome, to evaluate the status of the life of the Order. He then talked about the friaries of the Province of Germany and reported on current developments with the Conventual Franciscan presence in Holland. Friar Dariusz went on to talk about the four friaries in Austria. Next, the participants at the meeting took the opportunity to update each other on their own friaries.
Friar Andreas also moderated a House Chapter of the friary in Fribourg, during which the community made several urgent decisions, including determining the future of the large friary archive. Although it appears some important issues have now been resolved, it remains quite clear to all the friars that there are still many challenges ahead. Nevertheless, there is a community upon which we can build…
Friar Andreas MURK