The Capuchin Pan-American Conference was born from a desire of the Minister General, Br. Roberto Genuin, expressed this on his first Circular Letter in 2019. In addition to proposing a reflection for the Capuchins of all America, which then had four Conferences, the Circular proposed four axes of study and reflection:
As time passed, a new perspective was accentuated and reflected upon: how were the Capuchins doingt during the Covid-19 pandemic?
The first Pan-American Capuchin Conference was organized by the friars themselves, who carry out various ministries in the Church: advisors, formators, professors, bishops, etc., but above all: friars.
Seán Patrick O’Malley, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston (USA), who accompanied the whole process of organizing the meeting, during one of the sessions urged the friars “not to negotiate the non-negotiable” and mentioned fraternal life and prayer life as such. During the meeting in São Paulo, O’Malley presided at the Eucharist in the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, and during his homily, he emphasized, among other things, the need for the friars to be closer to the less favored.
Carlos Silva, the current Auxiliary Bishop of São Paulo (Brazil), who was General Councilor when the meeting began, suggested it as a formula for perseverance in religious life that unites both charm and fidelity to the charism. Carlos also spoke at one of the meetings about the need not to forget the Capuchin identity in the various services and ministries that the friars provide.
During the virtual meetings, one event showed that the results could already be achieved: an agreement between circumscriptions made possible the opening of two international fraternities in the Amazon region.
Since there is certainly no end to the work, the friars continue to reflect, and a new Pan-American Conference Meeting has been planned, which should be held in Colombia in February 2024. Let us now accompany the work of the Capuchins in the Americas with our prayers.
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