The new Minister General, Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI, along with his Definitory, reaffirmed the importance of the annual course for the new Ministers Provincial, Custodes and Secretaries. This year, the course was conducted at the Seraphicum College in Rome, starting Sunday evening, January 19 through Saturday, January 25, 2020.

There were twenty-one participants, all recently elected, from eleven Jurisdictions of the Order. As always, with the help of various instructors, we attempted to provide the Superiors with the tools they need to carry out the service required of them. They also had an opportunity to discuss the experiences they are having in their own Provinces or Custodies. Two translators, Friar Joseph KACHELEWA and Elio ROJAS, helped make the course work possible for those participants who did not know Italian.
The course presenters included our confrere, the Most Reverend Agostino GARDIN, Archbishop of Treviso, Italy, now in community at the Friary of St. Anthony, Doctor, in Padua, Italy. The Archbishop spoke on the theme, “The Service of Authority and Obedience.” Friar Vincenzo MARCOLI lectured on “The Definitory and Teamwork.” The Procurator General, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO, spoke on the theme, “The Promptuary and Its Topics.” Friar Francesco PANIZZOLO gave a presentation on Pope Francis’ Vos estis lux mundi [You are the Light of the World]. Friar Robert LEŻOHUPSKI lectured on the subject of “Spiritual Abuse.”
During the busy week at the Seraphicum, the participants were able to meet with the newly appointed members of the General Secretariat for Formation (SGF), Friars Piotr STANISŁAWCZYK and Maximilianus SEMBIRING, and the new member of the General Secretariat for Missionary Animation (SGAM), Friar Dariusz MAZUREK.
On Thursday, January 23, the participants visited the General Curia, where they were welcomed by the community of the Twelve Holy Apostles and celebrated Mass. Next, the Ministers Provincial and Custodes received some training from the members of the General Financial Office, namely, the General Econom, Friar Nicola ROSA and the General Exactor, Friar Leszek ŁUCZKANIN. At the same time, the Secretaries met with the Secretary General, Friar Tomasz SZYMCZAK. In the afternoon, the participants, led by Friar Valentín REDONDO, made a pilgrimage on foot to St. Peter’s Basilica where they had an interesting tour of the Vatican excavations and spent some time in personal prayer inside the Basilica. The day concluded with dinner at the community of the Vatican College of Penitentiaries.
Friday, January 24, was entirely dedicated to leadership of the fraternity and to the services a leader is expected to render, such as conflict management, a topic entrusted to Dr. Pierluigi IMPERATORE and Dr. Federico VENCESLAI.
On Saturday, January 25, there was report made from a workshop on the themes of mission, formation, and vocation ministry, followed by an evaluation of the course itself. The responses seemed positive and hopeful for our Order which starts a new sexennium, following the General Chapters of Nemi (2018) and Assisi-Collevalenza (2019). Another development from the aforementioned Chapters is the Six-Year Plan of the Order, which is expected to be released soon. The Minister General thanked the Guardians: Friar Felice FIASCONARO (Seraphicum), Friar Francesco CELESTINO (Twelve Holy Apostles) and Friar Vincenzo COSATTI (Vatican Penitentiary), for their fraternal welcome, which they, and their fraternities, gave the participating friars.

Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, Assistant General for the FIMP