On November 6-11, 2018, the Minister General, Friar Marco TASCA, made a fraternal visit to the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela, in the context of celebrating the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the Friars Minor Conventual in that country.

To facilitate the Minister’s meeting with all the young men in formation and the rest of the friars residing in the Custody, a carefully planned fraternal meeting was held at the San José de Cupertino formation house in Palmira-San Cristóbal, Venezuela.
The communities of all five friaries in the Custody met in Palmyra to experience the grace of meeting with the Minister General, and to be enriched by the common reflection, prayer and openness shared with all the confreres, including the aspirants, the postulants, pre-novices and post-novices.
The meeting program included time for dialogue with the participants as an assembly and time for smaller group meetings with Friar Marco. Separate meetings were held with the aspirants, the postulants, the pre-novices, the post-novices, and the solemnly professed friars. There was also time to converse with some lay people.
On the first day, the organizers arranged some time for common reflection on different aspects of the consecrated life. The reflection was led by a Dominican, Friar Jesús Maria HERNÁNDEZ.
The Minister General met personally with the Provincial Custos, Friar José Luis AVENDAÑO MONSALVE and his Definitory. In view of preparing for the Custody’s 2019 Ordinary Custodial Chapter, some group work was done in which the friars learned more about various topics related to the life of the Custody as well as some personal, communal and social challenges. At other common times together, the Minister General shared reflections with the participants on a variety of subjects: the concrete life of the Order, the new General Constitutions, the proximity of the Ordinary General Chapter, the missions, formation, etc.
Praying in common and, in particular, celebrating Mass together, provided some grace-filled moments to reinforce fraternal communion within the Custody and with the greater family of the Order. Furthermore, the presence of Friar Marco cast a special glow upon the 40th anniversary of the Conventual Franciscan presence in Venezuela.
Some common aspect of the meeting included the fraternal joy it offered and the beauty of the Minister General spending time with the participants, including the laity, who came to the formation house to take part in various moments of liturgical prayer.
The Custody of Venezuela belongs to the Province of St. Nicholas and St. Angelo in Italy (Puglia). The Province founded a mission in Venezuela in 1978. The Custody of Venezuela is a member of the Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC). It coordinates its activities with the FALC Federation, especially those regarding formation.

Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, Assistant General for the FALC