On June 4-7, 2022, the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, visited the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of Franciscan presence in Germany.
Despite his time being limited, Friar Carlos hoped to meet as many friars as possible. Having just returned from attending Provincial Chapters in the United States, Friar Carlos arrived in Germany and was greeted by the Minister Provincial, Friar Andreas MURK, directly at the railway station in Würzburg. From there, they journeyed to Upper Bavaria, to the Maria Eck Friary. There, the friars prepared a fraternal evening with confreres visiting from the Polish and Romanian friaries in the area.
On the morning of Pentecost Sunday, four friars visited from a home for the elderly run by a group of nuns; the home is near the Maria Eck Friary. The elderly friars were particularly happy with the visit. It was moving for their health attendants to experience how warm the atmosphere was, even when friars did not know each other or speak the same language. Later, Friar Carlos celebrated Mass outdoors, at the Maria Eck Shrine with the participation of several hundred faithful. He was welcomed by the Guardian, Friar Franz-Maria ENDRES, who called the visit of the Minister General a great honor. Father Thomas VON RECHBERG, Dean of the Traunstein Deanery of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Germany, also greeted the Minister General on behalf of all. In his homily, Friar Carlos wished that the faithful might receive the grace to always have a fresh awareness of the beauty and youthfulness of the Holy Spirit. After lunch with the confreres, Friar Carlos went on to visit the Schwarzenberg Friary. While there, he celebrated morning Mass for Pentecost Monday, before attending the celebration of the jubilee in Würzburg (see: https://www.ofmconv.net/en/giubileo-in-germania-800-anni-di- presence/).
On the way to the airport, on the last day, the Minister General made a planned, short visit to the Schönau Friary. The friars prepared some Bavarian refreshments outdoors and were very glad he stopped by.
Those friars who were able to meet Friar Carlos during the week felt truly appreciated and encouraged in their vocations.
Friar Andreas MURK, Minister Provincial