From January 31 to February 3, 2018, the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP) held its 29th Missionary Assembly at the Seraphicum in Rome.
Fifty people attended, including twenty-four friars and twenty-six young lay people from various Italian ecclesial and Franciscan associations. Also in attendance were the FIMP President, Friar Mauro GAMBETTI and the Assistant General for the FIMP, Friar Joaquín AGESTA CUEVAS, who presided over the liturgical celebrations.
The Assembly was conducted in a climate of fraternal discussion and was presided over by the Director of the Missionary Center, Friar Paolo FIASCONARO. The theme of the Assembly was, “Lay People, Champions of the Mission.” On the first day, Prof. Marco BARTOLI, a Franciscanist and member of the St. Egidio Community, and Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, the Secretary General for Missionary Animation (SGAM), lectured extensively on the theme. Those listening were inspired to more closely engage with the laity of our ecclesial and Franciscan realities and to collaborate with the Provincial Animator on a missionary animation event that reflects the lives of our Conventual and parish communities.
On the second day there was an interesting and prophetic Round Table discussion, coordinated by the journalist Elisabetta LO IACONO. Three young people gave testimony about their missionary experience last summer, working in the same area as the Blessed Martyrs of Pariacoto, Peru. There was also testimony from a girl who spent three months volunteering in the Holy Land. On the afternoon of the World Day for Consecrated Life (February 2), the assembly participants took part in a Mass with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica. On the last day, the Director of the Center gave a report on the last four years and initial planning began for the next four-year period.
Among the working proposals was a decision to spur involvement within our Jurisdictions by creating lay missionary groups, or cells that would collaborate with a local animator. Furthermore, in September, there will be a “formation workshop” for animators only, on issues related to new techniques and methods of missionary animation.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO, Director of the Missionary Center