On February 28, 2023, the Italian Province of St. Francis of Assisi (Central Italy) held a zonal meeting of its friars from Rome, Anzio and Piglio, Italy. The meeting was conducted as a day of fraternity and formation in order to study the new Constitutions. It was held at the San Lorenzo Friary in Piglio—a filial house of the Santi Pio e Antonio Friary in Anzio, Italy.
Twenty friars from the friaries in Rome took part. These included six friars from the San Giacomo Friary, four friars from the Santi Pietro e Paolo Friary), six friars from the friary in Anzio, and four friars from the filial house in Piglio. The meeting was organized by the three Guardians, Friar Paolo CIRINA (Head), Friar Renzo DEGNI and Friar Nicola SCARLATINO. The day was led by the Procurator General, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, assisted by Friar Aurelio ERCOLI.
The choice of the theme for this formation day was motivated by the call for all friars to study and apply the new Constitutions, which were issued by the 2018 General Chapter and subsequently approved by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
At three times during the meeting, Friar Maurizio outlined the highlights and innovations contained in the text of the Constitutions and listed the documents that accompany the chapters. He also pointed out five highlights from Pope Francis’ address to the friars of our Order at the beginning of the six-year term of the current government.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, Friar Maurizio highlighted certain aspects of the new text, emphasizing the significant innovations that were made with respect to the texts of the previous Constitutions. He called attention to the spiritual introductions at the beginning of the various Chapters, which are supported by the documents of the Magisterium of the Church, the Franciscan Sources and the Code of Canon Law. He also made a special point to develop certain topics such as the role of the Guardian in the life of the fraternity; the “Missio ad gentes” and the commitment of the friars to the missionary spirit; the topics found in chapter four: “The Mission of the Friars” and the problems concerning the administration of goods, bequests, cases of pedophilia, our parishes, our agreements with the Dioceses and the relationship of the pastor within the community where he resides.
The meeting aroused considerable interest among the friars. During a fraternal discussion with the presenter, there were several requests for clarification and further analysis regarding issues affecting the daily lives of the friars in their own communities. In the afternoon, the friars visited some sanctified places, namely, the grotto in the woods where Blessed Andrea CONTI took refuge to pray and the chapel where the Servant of God Friar Quirico PIGNALBERI is buried. He was a co-founder of the Militia of the Immaculata along with St. Maximilian Kolbe.
The formation day ended with Mass at the Shrine of San Lorenzo presided over by Friar Maurizio. Finally, Friar Paulo, the Guardian of the Santi Pio e Antonio Friary in Anzio, bade the friars farewell and thanked them for their participation in such a vibrant fraternity day.
Special thanks go to the friars of the San Lorenzo Friary in Piglio for their fraternal welcome and the light lunch they served, which included various liquors prepared by the members of the community.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO