The third day of Chapter was chaired by Fr John Puodziunas, from Assumption Province, U.S.A. who, after the time for prayer, outlined the day’s programme. The principal work of the day involved listening to and reflecting on the Report of the Minister General.
Br. Michael Perry spoke about the decline in numbers and the increased age of the friars which is happening in parts of the Order, but he also detailed the great signs of hope which arise when we face the future with courage. He also spoke about the fact that some friars seem to lack motivation in living the Franciscan way of life and he invited the friars to deepen the spiritual dimension of their lives – and in this way begin to ‘dream big’. This will ensure that the energy and passion for our Gospel life will be kept alive and will also bring about a renewed cooperation between the various entities of the Order.
After the Minister General’s presentation and having had a break, the Chapter Members gathered to hear a report on financial issues.
The afternoon session was given over to group work. The friars reflected on the Minister General’s report and decided on the questions which they would ask of the Minister General in the plenary session. Br Michael Perry welcomed the questions and answered them generously.
The final part of the day’s work found the friars in the Conference Groups sharing their views on the candidates proposed for the offices of Minister General and Definitors General. As well as this, the Presidents of the different language groups met to elect one of their number to be part of the Chapter Steering Committee.
As usual, Evening Prayer and supper brought the day to an end – a day which was intense, but which took place in an fraternal atmosphere of dialogue.