I am very happy to be able to get to know you here, because, except for the time I visited Austin, Texas, I know almost nothing about the United States. What I enjoy most is seeing specifically how the friars are living and working.
First of all, I thank you again for your hospitality; I immediately felt at home. I also felt at home when I visited California. I am quite surprised by this part of the Province. Since yesterday, I have been thinking: How do I interpret what I am learning about? Certainly, on a conceptual level, I have known about this area for a long time. The word I would choose to describe what I’m seeing, right now, is the word “utopia.” This word has a meaning that I would like to use, that I like very much, and that is: to bring into existence what does not yet exist.
Thus, here you are, it seems to me, living and working in this area. True, this area has a long history that goes back many years and it has many vibrant cultures. Nevertheless, we are living in a new time—as a world and as a Church. I have a feeling that you have the same idea: to bring into existence what does not yet exist. I see that you have projects and you even have new buildings, like the chapel. You imagined them, you created them, and you put them at the service of all people.
Thus, we come to the topic of the interculturality of the Order. Here, I am mainly referring to your relationship with the Province of Mexico. I see that the things that we were planning years ago, and how we might carry them out, you are, in fact, already carrying out. Also, you have been working with the other branches of the Order. This has set a good example for the entire Order—this way of attempting things and not shrinking from them; not moaning: “Oh dear, we’re all going to die,” but rather, finding new paths, inventing new ways and developing new opportunities for collaboration. It gives me great pleasure to see you doing this and I hope that you can continue on this same path, with Mexico and also here in the States; doing everything that can be done in terms of innovation, invention and trying new things.
These are simple areas, but full of possibility. They can advance the future.
Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI, Minister General