On January 7-11, 2020, the Provincial Definitory of the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany started the new year and the new quadrennial, with a spiritual retreat at the Monastery of the Conventual Franciscan Sisters in Muotathal, Switzerland. The Monastery has had a Franciscan tradition for almost 800 years.

The friars stayed in the sisters’ guest house where they were warmly welcomed by the head of the convent, Mother Superior Scholastica OPPLIGER. The five friars celebrated daily Mass with the sisters and joined them in praying the Liturgy of the Hours. The friars held two discussion periods each day. They focused on important topics in our lives as Friars Minor Conventual, such as vocations, Franciscan lifestyle, community, obedience, poverty, etc.
The retreat was far away from the friars’ daily duties, thus allowing them to enter into deeper discussions than they would at home or during Definitory meetings. The friars also shared responsibility for preparing meals. In addition, they made a pilgrimage to Einsiedeln, a neighboring monastery of Benedictine monks. The retreat was a great opportunity, and a gift, for strengthening the bonds between the newly elected members of the Definitory.

Friar Andreas Murk, Minister Provincial