On May 30-31, 2022, the friars of the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia celebrated the second part of their Ordinary Provincial Chapter. The Chapter took place in the oldest friary of the Jurisdiction, the Friary of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles in Ptuj, Slovenia.
First, the friars examined the Instrumentum laboris, which was inspired by ideas from the Pre-Chapter Assembly and from the minutes of the work done in groups during a special meeting of all the friars of the Province. The Instrumentum, in turn, became the foundation of the Provincial Four-Year Plan, which was completed and approved as a guide for the life and work of the friars in the future.
The Provincial Four-Year Plan was created as a personal and communal spiritual program, following the Six-Year Plan of the Order. It was also drafted in light of the various anniversaries from the life of St. Francis that are being commemorated. For each anniversary, a special symbol has been chosen that will be displayed in a clearly visible place in the friaries. The symbol will guide and remind the friars of each step along this commemorative journey.
The first year, 2022-2023, will be dedicated to the Later Rule (formation and vocations). The symbol for this will be the Rule itself, displayed solemnly on a lectern in a special place in the friary. The second year, 2023-2024, is dedicated to reflection on the stigmata of St. Francis (Gospel and spiritual life). The symbol for this will be a cross displayed in an important place in the friary. The third year, 2024-2025, will be dedicated to the Canticle of the Creatures (apostolate and liturgy). The symbol for this will be a well-cultivated flowerbed planted near the friary. The fourth year, 2025-2026, will be dedicated to the Transitus of St. Francis (prophecy and testimony). The symbol for this will be a clearly visible Paschal candle to remind us of the splendor of eternal life.
In keeping with decisions already made, the Capitulars reflected on new vocations over the next four years. A spiritual Chapter on this topic will be organized for 2023. There will also be further reflection on how to better implement Franciscan spirituality across the spectrum of the friars’ various pastoral ministries. The revision of the translation of the General Statutes will be continued, and work will be done on drafting new Provincial Statutes and Provincial norms regarding the use of new media.
This Chapter was seen mainly as a celebration of fraternity. All the friars were grateful that our confrere, the Most Reverend Martin KMETEC, OFM Conv., Metropolitan Archbishop of Izmir (Smirne), Turkey, joined the event. At the end of the Chapter, Archbishop KMETEC presided over Mass with all the friars. The Mass took place at the Marian Shrine of the Archdiocese of Maribor in Ptujska Gora, Slovenia. The Shrine is entrusted to the friars. The Mass was also a time to thank the Lord for the 50th anniversary of the Province of Slovenia, which was erected in 1972.
May the Lord, through the intercession of the Patron Saint of the Province, St. Joseph, continue to bless the friars in their commitment to witness and work for the good of our Order and the Church in Slovenia.
Friar Danilo HOLC