On October 22-23 and again on October 24-25, 2019, the Friars Minor Conventual of the Province of the Seraphic Father St. Francis in Italy (Naples) gathered in Montella, (Province of Avellino) Italy, in two stages, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Revival of the Province.

The revival came after the harsh suppression of religious communities that took place in the nineteenth century.  The anniversary celebrations were held at the Province’s newly renovated spiritual retreat center.
A century earlier, the then Minister General, Friar Domenico TAVANI, proposed that canonical visitations be made to the Region of Campania, effective, July 24, 1919. On August 20-22, 1919, the first Provincial Chapter took place, celebrated in Portici, (Province of Naples). It was presided over by the Secretary General, Friar Luigi BONDINI. Friar Giuseppe DE FALCO was then elected the first Minister Provincial of the Province of the Seraphic Father St. Francis in Italy (Naples). He set forth a plan with “three goals to be achieved: first, to restore discipline and religious observance in communities; secondly, to promote vocational growth; and third, to organize the administrative elements”.
That first Chapter was like a seed from which sprang all the confreres who preceded us, “supported by the anonymous work of consecrated men and women in the Franciscan Third Order, Franciscan Youth, the Militia of the Immaculate, and the faithful of our churches.” From that seed sprang all the friars of the present Province of the Seraphic Father St. Francis in Italy (Naples) and all those whom the Lord will invite after us, to work in the evangelical vineyard.
The welcoming liturgy (which was repeated for both stages of the anniversary celebration), was a hymn of praise and a true thanksgiving to “the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety” (Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 31).
Friar Felice AUTIERI gave a needed historical overview. He provided a summary that brought to life “a hundred years of events and faces”, going from devout memory of yesteryear to the chronicles of today. Three weeks earlier, on October 4th, his book “Between Memory and the Chronicle. 1919-2019: One Hundred Years of Events and Faces ” was published –pro manuscripto– by the Provincial Secretariat.
Recalling St. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy (2Tim 1:6), Friar Vincenzo IPPOLITO, OFM, lectured on the exhortation of St. John Paul II in Vita Consecrata, 110: “You have not only a glorious history to remember and to recount, but also a great history still to be accomplished! Look to the future, where the Spirit is sending you in order to do even greater things.” Therefore, this anniversary celebration was not so much focused on the history of the Province, but on the Province’s  present and future, as illuminated by the past.
The busy program schedule was crowned by the celebration of Mass, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, and included  periods  of discussion and fraternity.

Heartfelt thanks to the local fraternity and to the members of the OFS and Franciscan Youth, who provided hospitality,  service and meals.

Friar Giorgio TUFANO, Provincial Secretary