In its sixth session (February 24-29, 2020), the General Definitory completed a visit to the General Houses in Rome. In January of 2020, the members of the Definitory visited the Seraphicum and the Apostolic College of Minor Penitentiaries. Then, on February 26, they went on to visit the Friary of St. Anthony at the Baths [“Vigna”] and on February 28, they stopped at the Friary of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe [Casa Kolbe] on Via San Teodoro.

The visits were simple and cordial. These local communities perform valuable services for the Order and the Church, ranging from the academic formation provided to the friars at “Vigna” to the various secretariats and services carried out on Via San Teodoro. After dinner, there was a special meeting with the licentiate student-friars at the Friary of St. Anthony at the Baths. For the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, and his Definitory, this meeting continued a reflection that they had been carrying out for months. The Definitory posed a question to the students: “From your experience of internationality and interculturality, what do you think is Franciscan identity?” Though the students were somewhat ambushed by the question, it was very interesting to hear their responses. The meeting was a good “brainstorming” session and brought out a number of lived experiences. The Government of the Order expects to engage in more of these listening sessions. Such meetings serve as a useful laboratory to examine life and ideas, in relation to the issues of “who we are”, “who we want to be” and “what we want to do” as Conventual Friars Minor.

Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, Assistant General