Video – the meeting is presented
About sixty friars from thirty different circumscriptions of Europe met from July 10-16, 2016 at our Capuchin friary on the island of Giudecca in Venice. Those gathered wanted to reflect on the future of our presence in the Old Continent. Talks, sharing of experiences, work in groups, and free time allowed the friars to get to know each other and to share their dreams and aspirations. Liturgy and personal prayer, nourished each morning by a guided meditation from Br. Štefan Kožuh, General Vicar, emphasized that there has to be a deep and personal relationship with the Lord and the base of all of our efforts.
Video – the city of Venice
On the first day, Br. Pio Murat, General Councilor, presented the big picture of the “Europe Project”, which was then taken up by the participants in study groups. The days following were dedicated to the fundamental aspects of our charism: Br. Giovanni Salonia led on the topic of the fraternal life, Br. Marek Miszczyński on the life of prayer, and Br. Paweł Paszko and Br. Tomasz Żak on mission.
On Wednesday, July 13 we had the General Minister, Br. Mauro Jöhri, with us, and he emphasized how our fraternal presences are signs of the gospel in a culture that is secularized and indifferent to religious phenomena. Together we can serve the Church and witness to our faith.
Video – the Capuchins meet
During the meeting the following topics were discussed:
- The multicultural fraternities will be set up according to a clear plan. Already this type of experience is in place in Clermont-Ferrand and Kilkenny, and soon there will follow the fraternities of Spello and Lourdes. In turn there could follow a fraternity on the Camino de Santiago in León and one in Antwerp in Belgium.
- The call to fan the flame of our charism has emerged in a significant way in our discussions as a concrete response to the new evangelization. If in order to evangelize, one must first let himself be evangelized, then our Capuchin vocation lived in its fullness is the crucible of our life according to the Gospel and the starting point of mission.
- What was most clear in our days together was the joy of meeting and getting to know one another and of sharing high and beautiful aspirations. This meeting also showed the need for an animation in Europe that goes beyond Provinces and Conferences. The desire emerged to set up a network of fraternal contacts in order to promote common initiatives, e.g. ‘itinerancy and mission’ , ‘house of prayer’, shared initiatives for formation …
May the success of this beginning inspire the “Project Europe” working group to remain with and assist these new initiatives and to propose further meetings in the coming years.
Br. Pio Murat OFMCap