On October 7, 2022, the annual meeting between the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia and the Province of St Jerome in Croatia was held at the friary in Ptuj, Slovenia. The meeting was one of the events being conducted for the 50th anniversary of the Province of Slovenia.
Those attending included the Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI and the Assistant General for the Centralis Europae Foederatio (CEF), Friar Igor SALMIČ. The fraternal meeting began with a visit to the Conventual library, the Provincial Curia and the Conventual Church of Saints Peter and Paul. Next, the friars visited the city of Ptuj and the Arch-Church of St. George, which is run by the local Conventual Franciscan community.
The central event of the day was Mass celebrated at the Conventual church. The Most Reverend Alojzij CVIKL, S.J., Archbishop of Maribor, Slovenia, presided. In his homily, the archbishop spoke about how right it was, on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the Province, to thank God for all the good He has done through the friars in the Archdiocese of Maribor and in the Church in Slovenia.
“The international conference [convened to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Province of Slovenia] wishes to acknowledge your sizeable and admirable contribution,” said Archbishop CVIKL. “In your own way, through the spirit of St. Francis, you have enriched our society in the spiritual, cultural and intellectual circles for over fifty years. This golden jubilee gives you a chance to look ahead, to discern how to serve God, under rapidly changing circumstances, in a Church that is both young and old, in a society marked by wonderful—but also difficult times, times in which the individual human being is put first, with his demands and his rights, without being more willing to work for the common good.”
Archbishop CVIKL continued: “We must listen to the inspirations of the Spirit, in a common search and in mutual discernment. The synodal path we are learning to follow at this time teaches us how to proceed toward our way of living and acting in the Church of tomorrow.”
The meeting ended with a common lunch in the refectory, and with the hope that our fraternal bonds are once again becoming stronger and deeper, given that the pandemic has prevented such meetings over the last two years.
Friar Milan KOS, Minister Provincial