The morning in the Assembly began with a reading of a message of congratulations and blessing from the Holy Father to the new Minister General.
The election of Vicar General commenced, and Brother Isauro Ulises Covili Linfati, Provincial Minister of the Province of the Holy Spirit in Chile was declared the new Vicar General of the Order of Friars Minor. Brother Isauro has previously served in the areas of formation, pastoral ministry, fraternal animation, and leadership in his Province.
In his first address to the Capitulars, Brother Isauro shared the experience of his family who were poor migrant farmers. He spoke of the importance for us as Franciscans to have the Gospel at the centre of our existence throughout of the ongoing pilgrim journey of life, as we listen to and learn from those around us especially those in need, and as we “animate the hearts of brothers in building fraternity around us.”
Following the election of the Vicar General, Consultative votes were carried out for the 8 members of the General Definitory, in preparation for the election of the eight new Definitors on Thursday 15 July.
The work for the remainder of the day consisted of the presentation and discussion in the Assembly of the proposals from groups and Commissions.
On the topic of Evangelising Mission, feedback and comments by Capitulars were on the areas of Franciscan mission theology, traditional pastoral activities and extraordinary evangelisation, the spirit of synodality and collaboration with the laity, engagement with the young, implantation of the Church, Ratio Evangelisationis, post-pandemic evangelisation, mission projects and suitability of missionaries, care and accompaniment of migrants, JPIC, coordination of different offices and secretaries.
A comment was made on Structures, to include the establishment of a commission for safeguarding vulnerable persons. Regarding Fraternal Economy, comments were made on financial transparency and accountability of Entities, addressing abuses of funds, financial sustainability and support of fund-raising projects, financial formation for bursars and Visitators, ethical and ecological investments, and fraternal dialogue on financial issues. Proposals on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults were addressed, including the topic of training of our lay collaborators.
To conclude the final session, Brother Francesco Patton shared with the Assembly the experience of the brothers of the Custody of the Holy Land. He underlined the reality of the Custody of the Holy Land as being the mission of the Order, with the hope that each Entity can have at least one brother present in the Custody of the Holy Land, including Friars in Initial Formation and brothers engaged in scriptural and other studies in the Holy Land. The Custos of the Holy Land also spoke of the sufferings and declining number of Christians within the Custody of the Holy Land, that includes Syria and Lebanon. A short video on the Holy Land, accessible on https://youtu.be/c6WTKoUNlV4, was screened for the viewing of Capitulars.