On January 13-17, 2020, the 25th Assembly of the Guardians of Southern Italy was held in Pescara, Italy. The Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo), Friar Franco RAPACCHIALE, and the friars of Abruzzo, gave the Guardians a brotherly welcome. The formation event was characterized by prayer and fraternity.
Over the last three years, 2018 to 2020, the theme of the Assembly has been: “Animating, Guiding and Sharing in Community”. Accordingly, this year the focus was on “Sharing in Community”.
For the third consecutive year, the formation event was led by Professor Rosanna VIRGILI, a biblical scholar, who developed the theme of sharing from a biblical perspective. We must learn to live together, to share our materials and spiritual resources. The theme of sharing is not new. Why can’t we make it go viral? What is holding us back? What small steps can we take to “learn to share”?
Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, the Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP) was present for the entire event. He developed a theme of his own: “On the Road, Again, After the General Chapter.” He focused on Motion No. 15 of the 2019 Ordinary General Chapter, concerning the Jurisdictions of southern Italy.
In the final discussion, having heard the 2019-20 reports, the friars decided that the headquarters of the 2020 Assembly would be in Calabria, Italy.
At the end of the Assembly, friars of the Abruzzo Province organized a meaningful visit to Tagliacozzo (Province of L’Aquila, Italy). The friars were met by the Mayor, Vincenzo GIOVAGNORIO, and a pilgrimage was made to the tomb of Blessed Friar Thomas of Celano, where a Mass was celebrated at the Friary of St. Francis of Assisi. Finally, the friars visited the nearby town of Alba Fucens, an ancient Roman town at the foot of Mount Velino. It is a real gem, just waiting to be rediscovered.
Many thanks go to the friars of the host Province and the numerous lay persons who collaborated with them.
Friar Giambattista M. BUONAMANO,
Secretary of the Assembly of the Guardians of Southern Italy