From Monday, October 18 to Saturday October 23, 2021, the Ministers Provincial, Custodes and Provincial Delegates of Central and Eastern Europe participated in a Plenary Assembly of the Federatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO). The event took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. At the end of the Assembly, the friars entrusted their Jurisdictions and works to Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn of Vilnius.
At the personal invitation of the FEMO President, Friar Marian GOŁĄB, the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, participated throughout the entire meeting.
The attending friars represented eleven countries. Some of them participated online. The friars reflected on the life and activities of their Provinces, Custodies and Delegations. They also listened to reports on the activities of the Commission for Formation and the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, with regard to formation courses held for friars in solemn vows for ten years, for friars in solemn vows for twenty-five years, and regarding the Second Novitiate program (a month of preparation immediately prior to professing solemn vows). During the meeting, the Superiors planned formation courses for 2022.
The friars discussed the current status of implementation regarding the Motions of the 2019 General Chapter, such as the Motions concerning relations, collaboration and co-responsibility with the laity, as well as those promoting community initiatives for a life more faithful to the Franciscan charism. The friars also discussed the topics of youth ministry and vocation animation.
The Minister General shared some ideas on how the Franciscan family is preparing to jointly celebrate, in 2026, the 800th anniversary of St. Francis’ death and passage to heaven. The friars of FEMO Federation also presented proposals of their own.
Friar Carlos TROVARELLI expressed his joy at the fact that the FEMO Federation is ably achieving two of the objectives stated in its Statutes, namely, cooperation and coordination. He thanked the friars for the many and valuable initiatives they have carried out together. He also expressed his gratitude for the many friars that the FEMO Federation has placed at the service of the entire Order. “You are a large, stable and missionary-oriented Federation, one that is very rich in tradition. You also have great possibilities regarding personnel. You are a gift and a light for all the Jurisdictions of the Order. You have a role to play for the whole Order,” said Friar Carlos.
The FEMO Federation represents our presences in Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Russia, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Hungary. Within the Federation there are ninety-one friaries housing 644 solemnly professed friars and 101 friars in initial formation.
Friar Jan Maria SZEWEK