On November 1, 2022, Friar Ștefan ACATRINEI of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania, will officially begin his service as the new General Spiritual Assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS).

Friar Ștefan is taking over from Friar Alfred PARAMBAKATHU, who after six years of service to the OFS, will return to obedience under his Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in India. Friar Alfred began service to the OFS on July 31, 2016, at the end of the mandate of Friar Martin BITZER. Now, Friar Alfred’s six-year term is ending and a new General Spiritual Assistant will take office.
Friar Ștefan was born in 1966. He made his solemn profession in 1995 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1997. He has a doctorate in theology, is a connoisseur of Franciscan spirituality and has taught at the Franciscan Theological Institute in Roman, Romania. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Franciscan International Study Center in Canterbury, UK. He has held many offices in his Province, in the formative and academic area, as well as in the pastoral area. He has excellent qualifications allowing him to carry out his new office with effectiveness and passion.
We wish Friar Alfred a safe journey back to his Province. Sources close to the government of his Province tell us his next destination will be…Siena, Italy! He will be residing at the friary within the walls of Siena that was entrusted to the Province of India.
We wish Friar Ștefan success in his service and in his collaboration with the other three General Assistants to the OFS, namely, the Assistants representing the Friars Minor, the Capuchin Franciscans and the Third Order Regular. Together, they form the Conference of Spiritual Assistants (CAS).

Friar Tomasz SZYMCZAK, Secretary General