Day 10 of the Chapter began with a departure from the usual kind of activity we expect from General Chapters. The friars, led by Br. Sergiusz BAŁDYGA, Vice-Secretary of the Chapter, spent the morning in three Institutes based in Assisi which help those in need. Br. Sergiuz introduced the experience by speaking of the encounter of St. Francis with the leper and encouraged the friars to make this a visit of solidarity – to be “poor with the poor”.
The three groups went to the “Istituto Seráfico”, to the “Instituto ‘La Madonnina’” and to “Casa Papa Francesco”. Meanwhile, a fourth group of friars remained in adoration in the chapel of the conference centre (Domus Pacis) where the Chapter is taking place, in spiritual communion with the friars who were having the more active experience.
The work of the afternoon was taken up firstly with a presentation by Br. Aidan McGrath, a member of the Legal Commission, which detailed the various proposals for changes to our General Statutes. These changes had been proposed before the Chapter by the Plenary Council of the Order, by some Provinces and Custodies, and by some individual friars. The proposals relate to issues like the organization of the Secretariats of the General Curia, the leadership and type of representation of Custodies and Provinces, as well as the function and constitution of the Conferences. The presentation was followed by some questions of clarification.
Legal issues were followed in the next session by the second straw ballot for the election of the Minister General. The count again reflected the broad consensus which supports the election of Br. Michael PERRY.
At the end of the day, Evening Prayer with Eucharistic Adoration was held at the Basilica of the Portiuncula in order that tomorrow’s election of the Minister General is rooted in an atmosphere of prayer, and openness to the Holy Spirit.