May the peace of the Lord be with you!
I am sending this brief message to you on the day that our beloved Friar Marco Tasca, the former Minister General of the Order, is being ordained as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Genoa, Italy. This is a time of great celebration for our entire family. Ideally, I would like us all to join together in offering thanks to the Father for the gift of grace that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit represents for our brother and for the Church entrusted to him.
I first became aware of this appointment through the Apostolic Nuncio in Italy. Since then, my heart has been filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, I feel joy and satisfaction about the choice Pope Francis has made. It shows he has recognized in our dear brother the qualities that are needed for such a high and demanding ecclesial ministry. On the other hand, I feel an equal measure of regret over the “loss” of such a good friar, a friar who deeply understands our family, whose wisdom and experience might still have given so much to the Order. I feel that Mother Church is asking us to make a great sacrifice. However, at the same time, I affirm that we are pleased to serve the Lord through Friar Marco’s obedient “yes”. We can all imagine that the mission that awaits him will not be easy. The Church in Genoa, which the Holy Father is entrusting to his care, has its own centuries-old customs which are firmly established in an area of Italy that is culturally and socially very lively.
In his beautiful greeting to the Church in Genoa, Friar Marco wrote, among other things, that the dowry he is bringing to this new community is everything he learned during his years as a Conventual Franciscan religious. It is very pleasant to think, that all the seeds that were patiently planted in his life, including the ones discreetly sown by our own confreres, shall continue to bear fruit, albeit in changing circumstances. We feel sure that Friar Marco will not simply be a bishop who was a Franciscan; rather, he will be a Franciscan bishop! Personally, I am comforted and consoled to know that within the territory of the Church that Friar Marco will serve as Archbishop, there is a portion of our Conventual Franciscan family—the fraternity of San Francesco in Albaro. I am sure that Marco will feel supported by the brothers living and working there. They have always been, and will always be, his family.
Let me conclude by once again thanking Friar Marco for his loving service to the Order throughout his more than forty years of Conventual Franciscan religious life, especially his twelve years of service as the Minister General of our fraternity. Having worked closely with him for the past six years, I can say with confidence that we have all witnessed the passion with which he led the Order, as well as the attentiveness and sensitivity he brought to his meetings with friars all around the world.
May the Lord watch over and support Friar Marco on his new mission. May the Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of our Order, guide his steps and help him to be a shepherd after God’s own heart.
My dear brothers, may the Lord grant you peace!
Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI
Rome, July 11, 2020