On July 12-16, 2021, the first part of the Ordinary Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Agatha and St. Lucy in Italy (Sicily) was celebrated at the Madonnina del Lago Franciscan Oasis in Pergusa (Sicily).
Twenty-five Capitulars attended, along with the Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, who presided over the assembly, and the Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), Friar Giovanni VOLTAN. Work began at 10:00 a.m., on Monday, July 12, with ample time dedicated to listening.
Professor Vincenzo ROSITO gave a wisdom-filled reflection. Drawing on the experience of the ongoing pandemic, he highlighted three verbs – to feel, to stick out, and to imagine – which represent three areas for maneuvering and three ways for the communities to take action and redesign the Jurisdiction.
The Visitator General, Friar Vincenzo MARCOLI, gave his report online, from Padua. Other reports were heard from the Minister Provincial, Friar Gaspare LA BARBERA; from the Custos of the Provincial Custody of St. Daniel and Companion Martyrs in Italy (Calabria), Friar Giorgio TASSONE; and from the Provincial Econom, Friar Francesco Saverio BENENATI. Some minor reports were heard concerning vocation ministry, youth ministry, missionary animation, the Secular Franciscans, Franciscan Youth, the Militia of the Immaculata, etc.
A team of various professionals also attended the Chapter. They had worked together over the last year with the Order’s Project Office for the purpose of realizing a pastoral, socio-educational project entitled, “The Citadel of Brotherhood and Peace.” The Capitulars unanimously approved a concrete launch for the project.
Starting on Wednesday afternoon, July 14, and continuing through the afternoon of next day, the Capitulars divided into three groups, to work on an evaluation and to present assembly with proposals for the next four years. The proposals were included in a summary document, which was unanimously approved late Thursday afternoon, July 15. The document will form the basis of the instrumentum laboris for the second part of the Ordinary Chapter.
The last day of first part of the Chapter, Friday, July 16, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Carmel, began at 7:30 a.m. with Mass presided over by the Most Reverend Rosario GISANA, Bishop of the local Diocese of Piazza Armerina. At 9:30, after invoking the Holy Spirit, the Capitulars listened to the Chapter Secretary officially proclaim Friar Gaspare LA BARBERA elected to his second term as Minister Provincial. Friar Gaspar had already accepted his election, which took place by letter in March of 2021, due to the pandemic. The Capitulars sang the Te Deum in the chapel, where Friar Gaspar then made his Profession of Faith and swore his Oath of Office.
At 10:00 a.m., the members of the Provincial Definitory were elected. They are: Friar Francesco Saverio BENENATI, Definitor (first term); Friar Salvatore Vittorio LO CURCIO, Vicar Provincial (first term); Friar Luca M. GURRERA, Definitor (second term); and Friar Rosario TERRANOVA, Provincial Secretary (first term).
By the unanimous mandate of the Chapter, a fifth Provincial Definitor will be elected by the new Definitory.
At 11:30 a.m., after the Definitors made their Profession of Faith and swore their Oath of Office, the Capitulars gathered in the chapel for Midday Prayer. A festive, final lunch followed. The second part of the Chapter is scheduled to begin on September 12, 2021.
Friar Antonio PARISI, Chapter Secretary