On April 13-16, 2021, the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi held a meeting at the Friary of St. Anthony, Wonderworker in St. Petersburg, Russia.
All the friars of the Jurisdiction were present, except for those belonging to the Nur-Sultan Friary in Astana, Kazakhstan. Due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, they were only able to participate online.
The Custody regularly holds meetings of this type once a year. The meetings have the character of ongoing formation, but they also include a fraternal dimension of common prayer and recreation. They are also an important time to share information and important issues of the Custody.
Usually, a representative of the General Curia of the Order is invited to attend the meeting. Unfortunately, this year, due to the pandemic, Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK, the Assistant General for the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO) was only able to participate online.
For the first two days, the formative part of the meeting was run by Friar Jacek DUDKA, a Dominican from Kursk, Russia. He shared his thoughts and observations on the religious vocation and he also addressed the topic of the wounds and difficulties that can occur in fraternal life.
One day was dedicated to making group or individual excursions to St. Petersburg. It is a beautiful city, full of theaters and museums. Some of the friars went to visit Vyborg.
On the last day, the participants met online with the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI and the Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI. This year, the Custody has been celebrating the 20th anniversary of its foundation. The Minister General cordially addressed all the friars and urged them to courageously continue on with the mission in Russia and Kazakhstan, and to always discern what Christ calls them to do.
The event concluded with Mass presided over by the Most Reverend Nikolai DUBININ, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of Moscow.
Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ, General Custos