The Mediterranean Commission, set up last December, continues its work despite the current state of affairs. “Distant yet close”, is a slogan that’s become fashionable during this time of forced enclosure due to the imposed lockdowns. Therefore, even we of the Commission, albeit distant, have stayed close through continuing our work enthusiastically and in the spirit of service and fraternity. By way of videoconferencing, the members of the Commission, in cooperation with the Minister General, decided to postpone the Mediterranean Chapter of Mats scheduled for October 6 to 9, 2020. We are not yet able to offer another date or any other information. This state of uncertainty, however, does not force us to withdraw from our work. We’ve managed to prepare an Instrumentum Laboris, already sent to the Provincial Ministers, Custodes and Delegates of the relevant circumscriptions. This document will ultimately need to reach the individual fraternities in order to generate personal and shared discussions.
In a few days, the Commission will reconvene (by electronic communication) to define some other steps and details, which – in the interest of working together – will then be imparted to all of you. Meanwhile, you can follow our Facebook page (Mediterranean Chapter of Mats) and our Instagram account (Mediterranean Chapter).
Relating to this, last February 23, General Councilor Br. Pio Murat along with the Commission's secretary Br. Onofrio Farinola took part in a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Pope Francis in Bari (see photos), which concluded the meeting of the Mediterranean bishops entitled "Mediterranean: Frontier of Peace" (Feb. 19-23, 2020). It was an intense time of prayer and of hearing the words of the Holy Father; but even more importantly, it was an opportunity for meeting together and sharing fraternity. The Provincial Minister of Bari and some of the friars in studies also took part in the celebrations, grasping the importance of the Mediterranean as a focal point for a new pastoral and missionary impetus for the Church today, as well as for us Capuchin friars.