From March 31 to April 1, 2022, the Minister General, Friar Carlos A. TROVARELLI, visited the Friary of St. Francis of Assisi in Lviv, Ukraine.
The decision to visit Ukraine was made at the end of the jubilee celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of the Venerable Servant of God, Friar Wenanty Józef KATARZYNIEC. The event took place at the friary in Kalwaria Pacławska, near Przemyśl in Poland.
Others traveling with the Minister General on this trip included the Assistant General for the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO), Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK; and the General Delegate for Mission Animation (SGAM), Friar Dariusz MAZUREK. They were accompanied by the Custodial Vicar of the Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in Ukraine, Friar Stanisław PĘKALA.
During his visit, Friar Carlos met with the friars of the friary in Lviv and with the Guardian of the friary in Bilshivtsi, Friar Michał STASZAK. He also met with the most Reverend Edward KAWA, OFM Conv., Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv. In addition, he met with members of the Franciscan Youth and the faithful of the Shrine Church of St. Anthony in Lviv.
On Friday morning, April 1, Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK presided over a Conventual Mass at the Shrine and Friar Carlos TROVARELLI gave the homily. Friar Carlos spoke about the Feast of Our Lady of Grace, Patroness of the Archdiocese of Lviv, which was being celebrated that day. The feast began in 1656, when King Jan KAZIMIERZ proclaimed Our Lady as the Queen of his reign. Friar Carlos encouraged the friars to re-entrust themselves, and Ukraine, to her maternal protection and to do everything that Jesus tells us. He emphasized that their reliance on God is necessary in order to properly recognize the signs of the times and respond to the needs of the community that the friars serve.
During the fraternal meeting, the Minister General spoke about the situation facing the people, the Church and the Order in Ukraine. He also talked about the activities of the friars in the other friaries and the work being done by Bishop Edward KAWA during the ongoing hostilities.
In summation, the Provincial Custos of Ukraine, Friar Stanisław KAWA, thanked the Order for its financial and material help, which it has been providing to the Custody since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war
At the end of his visit, the Minister General conferred his blessing upon Bishop KAWA and the friars of the Custody present in Lviv.
Friar Stanisław PĘKALA, OFM Conv.