On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the friars of the General Houses in Rome gathered at the Friary of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, the secondary headquarters of the General Curia, for a Mass presided over by the outgoing Guardian, Friar Valentín REDONDO.

Having reached the end of his term, Friar Valentín wanted to thank the Lord and the confreres with whom he spent many wonderful years in Rome. In his homily he mentioned the Franciscan traits of simplicity and humility that are seen in the “Little Way” of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, whose memorial was celebrated that day. He then went on to talk about the succession of conversions that St. Francis of Assisi underwent in order to conform himself more and more to Christ. He also spoke about the importance of missionary itinerancy, both physical and spiritual, in order to revive our charism.
Before the conclusion of the celebration, the Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, took the floor to express the gratitude of the entire Order for the gift of Friar Valentín. He wished him every blessing as he begins to serve as the Guardian of the Friary of San Buenaventura in Madrid, which is where the Chapter of the Province of Our Lady of Monserrat in Spain called him.
Next, Friar Jan read a special protocol by the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, and announced the election of Friar Germano TOGNETTI as the new Guardian of the Friary of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe. Friar Germano then took his oath of office before the assembly of friars and guests. His four-year term will begin on October 4, 2020.

Later, as lunch was served, Friar Germano took the floor and praised the outgoing Guardian. He mentioned that Friar Valentín had been a true father, brother and friend to the friars. He compared him to the Cantábrian Range in Spain; saying that Friar Valentín had been as solid and upright as the peaks of those Asturian mountains. Moreover, just as they stood out, so too did the talents of Friar Valentín, which he shared with everyone, especially his confreres. The friars shall always be grateful for his generosity and goodness.
Finally, everyone congratulated the newly elected Guardians and wished them a fruitful experience in serving the friars.

Friar Dominique Joseph MATHIEU