On November 11-14, 2019, the Definitors of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania, and the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land, met jointly at the Friary of St. Anthony of Padua in Sin-el-Fil, Beirut, Lebanon.
The work of the Definitors was alternately coordinated by the Minister Provincial, Friar Teofil PETRIŞOR, and the Provincial Custos, Friar Anton BULAI. They discussed such topics as mutual understanding, fraternal life and mission, vocation promotion, initial and ongoing formation programs, the collaboration between the two Jurisdictions, the resolution of some pressing problems, prospects for the future and the development of new ways to give witness to the Conventual Franciscan charism in the various areas where the friars are present.
The Definitors visited the residence of Most Reverend César ESSAYAN, OFM Conv., Apostolic Vicar of Beirut. While there, they had a pleasant and productive meeting with the bishop. The bishop spoke about status of the local Church within today’s troubling political and economic context of Lebanon. He also invited the Definitors to stay for lunch. The meal was a pleasant setting for communion and Franciscan sharing.
To the extent that the work schedule allowed, the Definitors also a visited some significant tourist spots in the area such as the Shrine in Zahle, where our friars have a friary and a hermitage; the National Shrine in Harissa; the Patriarchate of the Armenian Church; and the Cave of Jeita—a splendid natural wonder in Lebanon.
The warm welcome of the friars and people of Lebanon; the deepening of our common journey; the joy of spending time together; the moments of common prayer and the Mass; and meeting Friars Massimiliano CHILIN and Jalil HADAYA, who maintain a significant Conventual Franciscan presence in Lebanon, all these were true gifts from God. They were an experience of real joy in the Lord and in the spirit of our Seraphic Father St. Francis.
Heartfelt thanks to all the friars of Lebanon for their welcome and their witness to the faith and the Conventual Franciscan life!
Friar Virgil BLAJ Provincial Secretary