On October 21-26, 2019, a Plenary Assembly of the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO) was held in Bołszowce, the Ukraine.
Those attending the meeting included the Assistant General for the FEMO, Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK; the FEMO President and Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland Cracow, Friar Marian GOŁĄB; the Minister Provincial of the Province of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the Czech Republic, Friar Stanisław GRYŃ; the Vicar Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk), Friar Tomasz RYŁKO; the Vicar Provincial of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw), Friar Piotr SZCZEPAŃSKI, the Provincial Custos of the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM in Slovakia, Friar Lucjan BOGUCKI; the General Custos of the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi, Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ the Provincial Delegate in Hungary and Transylvania, Friar Paweł CEBULA; the Provincial Delegate in Uzbekistan, Friar Stanisław ROCHOWIAK; the Provincial Delegate in Bulgaria, Friar Jarosław BARTKIEWICZ; the Provincial Delegate in Lithuania, Friar Piotr STROCEŃ; the Provincial Delegate in Belarus, Friar Antoni POŻECKI; Provincial Delegate in the Ukraine, Friar Stanisław KAWA; and the Secretary of FEMO, Friar Jan Maria SZEWEK. The former FEMO President, now Vicar General, Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, also came to the meeting.
The meeting began with Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Edward KAWA, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv. The Mass was celebrated in nearby Halych, where the Shrine of Blessed James of Strepar, a Franciscan missionary from Ruthenia, patron of the Archdiocese of Lviv and co-patron of the Province of Cracow, is located.
This year’s meeting was mainly focused on the adoption of the Polish translation of the Order’s documents: the Constitutions, General Statutes and the Statute of the Federation with its attachment. The participants took note of the Polish translation prepared by the translation team, voted on the individual articles and finally decided to ask the Minister General and his Definitory for permission to publish these documents as the official texts. The Niepokalanów publishing house will handle the layout and printing.
the Vicar Provincial of the Province of Warsaw, Friar Piotr SZCZEPAŃSKI was unanimously elected to the post of the Federation’s Secretary for Formation.
During the plenary meeting, the General Assistant asked the Federation to address the issues indicated in the Motions of the 2019 Ordinary General Chapter, namely, collaboration between the Provinces, relations with the laity, ecological conversion, the use of new media and the reorganization of the Federations of the Order.
The FEMO President presented his idea on the Kolbe Project for discussion by the Assembly. The Kolbe Project is to be implemented Order-wide. It is intended to promote the legacy of St. Maximilian through various proposals submitted by friars from all over the world. These means of promotion include conferences, spiritual retreats, pilgrimages to the Kolbean places, and more. The goal is to try to “actualize” our Saint and draw inspiration from him in carrying out evangelization efforts.
The next plenary meeting will be held on October 19-24, 2020, in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Friar Jan SZEWEK, OFM Conv.