On April 25-29, 2022, the second part of the Ordinary Chapter of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land took place at the St. Anthony of Padua Friary in Istanbul, Turkey.
The second part of the Chapter began on Monday evening, April 25. Those present included all of the friars of the Custody; the Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI; the Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), Friar Giovanni VOLTAN; and the Minister Provincial of the Mother Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania, Friar Damian-Gheorghe PATRAŞCU.
Friar Jan started the Chapter with a spiritual reflection about the sense of belonging, understood from the psychological, spiritual and communitarian perspective. Then, the friars, working in the assembly and small groups, discussed the draft of the Four-Year Custodial Plan entitled “Old Wineskins for Good Wine: With Mary from the Desert of Meriba to the Wedding at Cana.” The guidelines for the 2022-26 Quadrennium are: A) spiritual life-identity; B) fraternity-belonging, formation; and C) evangelization-pastoral ministry and missionary outlook.
On Thursday, April 28, the Capitulars elected the new Guardians, the Presidents of the Custodial Commissions, and gave out other fraternal assignments. The new Guardians are: Friar Lucian ABALINTOAIEI for the Friary of Büyükdere (Istanbul); Friar Michał SABATURA for Beyoğlu (Istanbul); Friar Roger KOUYOUMDJI for Sin-el-Fil (Lebanon); and Friar Elias MARSWANIAN for Zahle (Lebanon).
On Wednesday April 27, within the context of the Chapter Assembly, the Custos, Friar Anton BULAI, and his priestly ordination companion, Friar Silvestru BEJAN, both celebrated their silver jubilees (twenty-five years of priesthood) The celebration took place during Evening Prayer, in the presence of the Capitulars and two representatives of the friars of the Provincial Delegation in Bulgaria, Friars Atanazy SULIK and Jarosław BARTKIEWICZ. Also in attendance was His Eminence, Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon (Adamakis), representing His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, BARTHOLOMEW I. Others attending included the Most Reverend Marek SOLCZYŃSKI, Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey; the Most Reverend Massimiliano PALINURO, Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul, Turkey; and our two confrere bishops, the Most Reverend Martin KMETEC, Archbishop of Izmir, Turkey; and the Most Reverend César ESSAYAN, Vicar Apostolic of Beirut, Lebanon.
Dulcis in fundo: those present enjoyed a fraternal dinner, excellently prepared by the community of St. Anthony and words of great ecumenical prominence from Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel.
Friar Roger KOUYOUMDJI