From November 11-20, 2022, the Provincial Custody of St. Francis Anthony Fasani in Vietnam was honored to receive a fraternal visit from the Minister General, Friar Carlos Alberto TROVARELLI, and the Assistant General for the Federation of Asian Minor Conventuals (FAMC), Friar Benedetto Seung-jae BAEK. Their visit was a great blessing to the friars of the new Custody, especially since the Minister General was unable to attend the first Custodial Chapter in April and May of 2021.

On Friday, November 11, some student friars went to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in Hồ Chí Minh City to welcome the Minister General and take him to the St. Anthony Friary, the post-novitiate of the Custody. On Saturday, November 12, the Post-Novitiate Director, Friar Peter HOÀNG (Thành Đông), took the Minister General to visit the Poor Clares. In the afternoon, they joined other student friars and visited patients at the local hospital. The patients were served rice porridge with ground pork and vegetables, cooked by the students. On Sunday, November 13, the Minister General presided over Mass for the Solemnity of St. Andrew Dũng-Lạc and Companion Martyrs of Vietnam and then gave a speech to the student friars.
On Monday, November 14, the Minister General went to the Provincial Curia of the Friars Minor and visited the OFM Minister Provincial, Friar Inhaxiô NGUYỄN (Duy Lam). The Minister General was accompanied by Friar Benedetto Seung-jae BAEK, and the Custos of the Provincial Custody, Friar Joseph TRẦN (Văn Long), who, on Sunday evening, had just returned to Vietnam from a FAMC meeting in South Korea. Friar Inhaxiô NGUYỄN talked about the life and missions of the Friars Minor today and at different times in history during their almost 100-year presence in Vietnam. He mentioned how the Franciscan charism has been rooted peacefully and joyfully in this country.
On Tuesday, November 15, the Minister General and Friar Benedetto departed the Custodial Curia in Củ Chi to visit the novitiate at the St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Đăk Nông Province. On Wednesday morning, November 16, Friar Benedetto presided over Mass in the novitiate chapel with the friars and the novices. Then, the Minister General gave a speech to the novices and novitiate formators. In it, he mentioned that the novices will take their vows in 2023, when the entire Franciscan Family will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Later Rule and the Christmas at Greccio.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Minister General and others flew to northern Vietnam to visit the Friary of St. Andrew Dũng-Lạc and Companion Martyrs of Vietnam. The friary is in a leper colony where more than two hundred lepers are cared for, together with eleven children with cerebral palsy. On this special occasion, our friars invited the lepers and the medical workers to have lunch with the Minister General and the Assistant General. This leper colony also serves as a parish and includes a church and three filial chapels. The Pastor is Friar Michael NGUYỄN (Khải Hoàng).
On Friday, November 17, most of the friars gathered at the Annunciation Friary (Custodial Curia), for a fraternal evening with the Minister General and the Assistant General. The fraternal evening began with the Minister General blessing a statue of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then, the friars gave a presentation on Vietnamese culture and history, through songs, skits, and dances. At the end of the fraternal evening, the Minister General passed a lit torch to the Provincial Custos as a symbolic gesture of transmitting the Franciscan flame which has burned for over eight hundred years. The Custos then passed the torch on to the rest of the friars as they sang a song of unity.
On Saturday, November 18, the Minister General presided over a Thanksgiving Mass honoring St. Francis Anthony Fasani, the Patron Saint of the Custody of Vietnam. The Mass was celebrated in the postulancy chapel. After the Mass, there was a party attended by the Most Reverend Joseph NGUYỄN (Tấn Tước), Bishop of Phú Cường, Vietnam, the diocese where the Custodial Curia is located.
On this occasion, the Minister General and the Assistant General also visited a bishop from the Phú Cường Diocese and another bishop from the Thái Bình Diocese. On Sunday afternoon, November 19, the friars said farewell to the Minister General who, along with the Assistant General, departed Vietnam early Monday morning, November 20.
The fraternal visit by the Minister General and the Assistant General was a great blessing, not only for the friars of the young Custody, but also for the families of the friars that the Minister General visited and blessed. This visit, which gathered all the friars of the Custody together, was the most important event in the Custody since the celebration of its first Custodial Chapter in 2021.

Friar Joseph NGUYỄN (Chính Luận), Custodial Secretary