“The preparation time is over and, with this session, we are part of the Pan American Meeting of Capuchins”, thus Br. Mariosvaldo Florentino, General Secretary for the Missions of the Order, summarized this historic moment. The first virtual meeting took place on Monday, May 3rd.
Bringing together more than 80 friars, between those called and the work teams, from all the Capuchin circumscriptions in the Americas, the Pan-American is a dream of the Order that has taken shape in recent years.
After so many changes due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the meeting could not begin in any other way than by honoring the Capuchin friars of the Americas who lost their lives after contracting the virus. According to the data of the General Curia, as of April 28th, 25 brothers have died as a result of the pandemic.
The meeting was officially declared open after the speech of the Minister General, Br. Roberto Genuin, who spoke of the Order’s expectations for this event. Even before the start of the reflection proposals, the meeting’s preparation team made a brief retrospective of the journey so far.
Besides Br. Roberto, the general councilors who work in the Americas also left their messages for the participants of the meeting. This first contact was opportune, especially to understand the new dynamic proposed this year. Silvio, the Councilor for Brazil, also pointed out that “brief Pan-American meetings” will be held, bringing together the friars who work in specific areas of the Order.
Even though they were not physically present, it was possible to see on the screen the joy stamped on the faces of Provincials, Custodes, and Delegates. One could see that this was not only a dream of the General Council but of all the friars.
José Luiz Cereijo, Provincial of Rio de la Plata (Argentina and Uruguay), was able to participate at this moment from his hospital bed. José Luiz was diagnosed with Covid-19 last Wednesday (28) and in the early hours of this Monday, he had to be hospitalized.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 7th, for those who have been convoked. In all, there will be five virtual meetings in preparation for the face-to-face meeting that should take place in May of next year.