On February 22-24, 2022, the annual fraternal assembly of the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The meeting also served as the Custody’s pre-Chapter Assembly, in view of the next Ordinary Custodial Chapter, which should take place in June, 2022.

During the assembly, the friars received alarming information about the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Therefore, added to the deliberations were prayers for peace, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, concern for our friars in the Custody of Ukraine, and prayers for all the innocent people who are suffering.
All of the friars of the Custody attended the assembly, with the exception of the community in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, which participated using the Zoom Internet platform due to the ongoing pandemic. Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK, the Assistant General for the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO) was also connected via the Internet for the same reason.
The assembly began with a spiritual introduction led by Father Fernando of Opus Dei, which was dedicated to the Gospel Beatitudes.
Later during the assembly, the friars began their Pre-Chapter Assembly, in keeping with the current Directory for the Celebration of Chapters. Those present heard reports from the Assistant General; the General Custos; the Custodial Econom; and the Director of the Franciscan Publishing House. The participants also shared their comments and observations. Finally, a document was drafted on the life of the Custody. It will become binding during the Chapter itself.

Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ, General Custos