The third week of the Chapter began with the process of forming commissions which will try to address different aspects of the vision of the Chapter. The work of the commissions will lead to decisions which will determine the paths to be undertaken by the Order in the next six years.
The agendas for the different committees stem from the work of the previous two weeks – specifically from the Report of the Minister General, the Instrumentum Laboris and the Reports of the Presidents of the Conferences. In the next couple of days the names, make-up and specific work of the committees will be finalized.
Today the friars had a delightful experience of the wider Franciscan Family, with visits and talks from a variety of other Franciscans. During the morning we met with Br. Stefan Kozhu, Capuchin Vicar General; Br. Marco Tasca, Conventual Minister General; Mr. Tibor Kauser, the Minister General of the Secular Franciscan Order and Sr. Klara Simunovich, who represented the International Franciscan Conference of Third Order Regular Institutes. They were very happy to be with us and they wished the Chapter well, hoping that one of the outcomes of our gathering would be greater cooperation between us, and the further promotion of sister & brotherhood between the many different branches of the Franciscan Family.
The first afternoon session was an address by the Secular Franciscan, Marie Dennis, Co-president of Pax Christi International, a Catholic association which promotes peace and reconciliation. In a challenging lecture, she spoke about the urgency of working towards human and economic relationships based on the Christian and Franciscan principles of peace and of universal sister & brotherhood. She asked the assembly to consider which of the challenges she presented are most urgent. What specific actions can the Friars Minor gathered in Chapter take to respond to these challenges? Her questions led to a reflection, first in the various Chapter groups, then later in the prayerful atmosphere which characterized the final session of the day – a contemplative reading of the Word of God.