Dear Ministers Provincial,
Dear Provincial Custodes,
Dear brothers serving in the field of Youth and Vocation Ministry,
We are writing to inform you about a program for friars and young people that combines two anniversaries related to St. Anthony of Padua and preparations for World Youth Day 2022, in Lisbon, Portugal, St. Anthony’s birthplace.
This year marks the 800th anniversary of the entrance of Fernando from Lisbon into the Order. He entered the Order in Coimbra, Portugal, taking the name Friar Anthony. Next year marks the 800th anniversary of Friar Anthony’s arrival in Italy and his participation at the Chapter of Mats in Assisi.
The General Definitory has decided not to celebrate the International Youth towards Assisi Meeting in 2021. Instead, it will transfer the Order’s energy and effort to this meeting of the universal Church in 2022. The St. Anthony anniversaries and WYD in Lisbon are providential celebrations which will help us to create a formation program for friars and young people.
Therefore, we decided to propose a formation week in 2021, one which will be open to all friars in charge of Youth and Vocation Ministry and to all lay leaders of our youth groups scattered around the world. Its objective is to discover or rediscover the person of St. Anthony of Padua and thereby be able to propose him to young people as a model of faith, vocational discernment and mission. Another goal is to prepare for World Youth Day 2022 in Lisbon.
In summary, the purpose of this formation week is twofold:
1. to prepare for WYD together
2. to get to know each other, better understand how we carry out youth ministry in different areas of the world and find through-lines or a common style connected to St. Francis, all in the context of rediscovering the life of St. Anthony of Padua.