giovedì 25 gennaio 2018

Où les Frères se lèvent au son du TAM-TAM

Togo, Le pays où les Frères se lèvent au son du tam-tam.

Il est 5h40, l'heure locale. On entend tout d'un coup un tam-tam sonné tout près dans l'enceinte conventuel. Il commence très doux mais va augmentant en tempo et en volume jusqu'à faire sursauter du lis nous qui hésitions encore à nous lever à cause de la fatigue du voyage. C'est effectivement le réveil des Frères. Le tam-tam est accompagné d'un autre instrument au son simple et syncopé on dirait des baguettes frappées contre un corps en bois creux. C'est évident à notre jugement qu'elles sont deux personnes à sonner ce réveil. Nous nous levons au son allègre du tam-tam des Frères. Ça donne envie de danser. Il nous vient à cœur la parole du Psalmiste qui dit: " Louez-le avec le tambourin et avec des danses !" (Ps 150:4). C'est de la musique qui continue pour environ 3 minutes en rythme fort rapide avant de diminuer brièvement jusqu'à s’arrêter pour céder place aux chants des coqs, aux chants d'oiseux et aux sons des mouvements des frères qui se levaient et s’apprêtaient pour la Prière.  Nous sommes à Adidogomé à Lomé, Togo, au couvent des Frères Mineurs Conventuels où nous nous sommes rendu pour le deuxième chapitre électif de l'Ordre Franciscain Séculier de Togo.

Photo de Famille des Capitulaires
Le chapitre National électif de l’OFS-Togo a été célébré du 13 au 14 Janvier 2018 au couvent de Saint François d’Assise des Frères Mineurs à Adidogome – Lomé. Le chapitre a été préparé par un triduum de prière, animé par Fr. Peter Williams, Assistant national, Joseph Adegnon, OFS, et Sœur Aurelia D’Almeida, au monastère des Clarisses, La Pouponnière à Lomé. Le chapitre a été présidé par Michel Janian, OFS-Liban, Conseiller de la Présidence CIOFS délégé par Tibor Kauser, Ministre générale OFS, assisté par Fr. Francis Bongajum Dor, OFMCap., Assistant spirituel général OFS-JeFra. La Messe d’ouverture a été présidée par Fr. Virgile Agbessi, OFM, Ministre Provincial de la Province du Verbe Incarné qui recouvre plusieurs pays de l’Afrique occidentale. Le thème générale choisi pour cet évènement nationale a été : « Que votre ‘oui’ soit ‘oui’ (Mt 5 :37) ; La grâce de la profession dans l’OFS » sur lequel Fr. Francis a donné une conférence. 50 votants étaient présents ainsi que 4 observateur, 8 assistants spirituels et un Supérieur Majeur, le Ministre Provincial nommé ci-dessus.

Fr. Virgile Agbessi, OFM présidant la Messe d'ouverture.

Le nouveau Conseil National OFS-Togo
 L’élection a été faite dans l’après midi du premier jour, le 13 et Joseph Fogan Adegnon a été réélu ministre national pour son deuxième mandat depuis la constitution de la Fraternité nationale advenue en 2014. Le chapitre a ensuite décidé par vote secret que le Ministre national soit aussi Conseiller international ex-Ufficio. La clause sera insérée dans le statut national qui sont en cours de révision. Le reste du Conseil national a été reconduit presque dans sa totalité. Michel a confirmé les élections. La Messe de clôture a été présidée par Fr. Francis à la fin de laquelle Michel a installé le nouveau conseil. Tout s’est déroulé dans une grande sérénité et esprit d’écoute et de gratitude envers Dieu et envers les frères et sœurs.
 Les autres membres du Conseil National sont:
Ministre-Adj: ASSAGBA Adolph; Secrétaire: RAMANOU Darius; 
Trésorière: DOH-EGUELI Pierrette; 
Formateur: AHOULOU Eric; 
Délégué auprès de la jeunesse franciscaine: d'ALMEIDA René; 
Assistant Spirituel: WILLIAMS Peter.
Les Concélébrants à la Messe d'Ouverture
Petite rencontre de l'Assistant Générale avec les Assistants OFS-JeFra.

Fr. Francis Dor, OFMCap avec les Représentants JeFra-Togo


lunedì 8 gennaio 2018

FACING IMMIGRATION: THE OFS OPTION

FACING IMMIGRATION: WHAT OPTION FOR THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER?

Welcome, protect, promote and integrate[1] are the key words in the message of 

the holy Father Pope Francis for the 104th world day of Migrants and refugees to be observed on January 14th this year.


Today, migration provoked by violence and insecurity is a major problem for many societies. Millions of people and families are forced to move to other areas, of the same country or of other countries, sometimes, thousands of kilometers away just for their safety. Thousands of youths are flooding into Europe particularly from some African countries. These would rather face the dangers of crossing the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea, than remain in the dangers and hopelessness of their homes. What are they looking for? These same people have generally become a hot “problem” to be solved by political leaders or to be handled by humanitarian organizations. But the scheme is always almost the same: on the one side, there are the needy: refugees and immigrants; and on the other, there are the benefactors: host countries and humanitarian groups. For both entities, these brothers and sisters remain a bitter problem to solve so that life may be normal once more.

Franciscan Youth in the world


“GO WITH THE GOSPEL IN THE HEART AND IN THE HANDS” [1]:
Franciscan Youth in the World

The Conference of General Spiritual Assistants, (CAS) of the OFS and YouFra has recently published the last number of the bulletine Koinonia  for the year 2017 on the CIOFS website www.ciofs.org. The article is entitled: "Go with the Gospel in the heart and in the hand: Franciscan Youth in the world". This article closes the cycle of articles for the year 2017 whose general theme was: LIVING THE FRANCISCAN CHARISM IN TODAY'S WORLD 40 Year after the Seraphicus Patriarcha comemorating 40 years of the present OFS Rule signed by Pope Paul VI on June 24th 1978.  Find the Article below in English and for other languages, visit www.ciof.org.

giovedì 7 dicembre 2017

"The Apostle of the OFS": Diocesan process opens...

"Apostle of the Third Order of St. Francis" 

That is how Fr. Marie-Joseph Gerber OFMCap. (baptised Aloyse Gerber) considered himself in the long years of his life totally dedicated to the promotion of the Franciscan charisme among lay faithful in the area of Bitche in France bordering Germany. The Bishop of the Diocese of Metz officially opened the inquiry into the heroic virtues of  Fr. Marie-Joseph, hence officially opening the path to beatification and eventual canonisation. Fr. Marie-Josph was born on February 27th 1907 and died on July 27th 1993. His memory lives on in the hundreds of members of the Secular Franciscan Order and Franciscan Youths whom in the Fraternities he founded and accompanied with extraordinary pastoral zeal.


 For more information on the important diocesan event and on the life of Fr. Marie-Joseph, see:

Biographie du Père Marie-Joseph Gerber, ofm cap

Aloyse Gerber est né le 27 février 1907 dans le village alsacien d’Eckbolsheim, non loin de Strasbourg. C’est à ses parents, tertiaires de Saint François, qu’il doit d’avoir reçu, tout petit, l’amour de l’Ordre franciscain. A onze ans il commence son itinéraire à l’École Séraphique de Strasbourg-Koenigshoffen, tenue par les frères capucins. En 1924, il est reçu au noviciat des Frères Mineurs Capucins de Sigolsheim, reçoit l’habit le 14 aout de .la même année et un nouveau nom : frère Marie-Joseph. Au couvent de Strasbourg-Koenigshoffen (1925-1928), et commence sa théologie en 1929 après avoir accompli son service militaire. C’est à ce moment que se développe une correspondance précieuse avec sa sœur Rosalie, sœur Franciscaine Missionnaire de Marie.

lunedì 27 novembre 2017

15th Ordinary General Chapter of the OFS - Rome, Italy

Participants at 15th OFS General Chapter
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (Jn 17:18); was the theme chosen for the 15th Ordinary General Chapter of the OFS held in Rome from 4th to 12th November this year. With 124 participants (including observers and other invitees) representing 75 nations,  the chapter was a special moment of grace for the international Fraternity to share, reflect together, celebrate and, above all, discern the will of God for the future of the Order.


Card. P. Parolin presideing over the openning Mass 


The target to aim at is a deep attachment to Christ!” were keys words of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State,  as he presided over the opening Mass. In his homily, he also said: “it is necessary to have it deep in our conscience that we cannot be ‘begetters’ in the  faith if we have not first been ‘begotten’ in the faith ourselves”.  




The General Ministers of the First Order all came  in turns to celebrate the communion of the Franciscan family, each of them presiding over the Eucharist in one of the days with a particular message for the Participants.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis welcomes
 Ministers General of the First Order and TOR
 Talking on leadership, Br. Michael Perry, OFM said  Leadership in the spiritual community of Jesus – and in the fraternities founded by st. Francis – is a synergy, serving the others sharing responsibility and convincing them that ‘we are all in it together’”. Br. Marco Tasca, OFMConv., emphasized on the creativity that is typical of the Franciscan charism. He said he often has the impression that we Franciscans want to do things too well; “ like our Seraphic Father, ought to enrich the Church with our madness”. Br Mauro Jöhri, OFM Capuchins,  on his turn underlined the necessity to be good to all. He said: “Goodness is a typical Franciscan virtue. … The goodness of our Heavenly Father who  “makes his sun to rise on the good and the bad alike and rain to fall on the just and the unjust” (Mt 5:45) should stimulate us to be good to all, just as St. Francis was”.
Br. Mauro Jöhri presiding over Holy Mass
Car. P. Parolin, General Sp. Assistants and Rector of the Seraphicum
Work at the chapter started with various reports and discussions on them: The Minister general and CIOFS Presidency, general treasurer and Conference of Spiritual Assistants (CAS). Then follow Michel Versteegh, OFS (Netherlands) who gave a conference on the main theme of the Chapter  in which he shared his faith experience in the family, at work as Cardiac Surgeon and in the OFS Fraternity. He brought to light how his job and his professional preparation /cf. OFS Gen. Const. 20.2) are directly connected to his identity and mission as Secular Franciscan. His ten-point systematic presentation captured the attention of all participants.

Dr. Michel Versteegh OFS.
One of the key moments was the presentation, analysis and discussion on the Instrumentum Laboris entitled: “How should an Order like OFS be managed in all its levels?” Group work and subsequent discussions in plenary sessions were decisive for the results of the Chapter, together with the work of the Commission of the conclusive document. Capitulars were called at various moments to develop the sense of belonging and to act consequently to support the life and mission of the OFS Fraternities at all levels. Regarding the YouFra, emphasis was laid on the naming of the OFS Fraternal animator and the promotion of the “double belonging” OFS-YouFra.

Minister general of the First Order and
Tibor Kauser, Minister general OFS.




40 Years of the Rule: The OFS General Minister, Tibor Kauser, announced the indiction of a Jubilee year (24th June 2018 – 24th June 2018) to commemorate 40 years of the OFS Rule approved by Pope Paul VI of Blessed memory on 24th June 1978 by the apostolic letter Seraphicus Patriarcha. It is expected to be a year of grace for the entire OFS the world over. He gave enlarged authenticated copies of the Rule to all the Capitulars. In the middle of the week, the participants made a trip to Subiaco at the Monasteries of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica on the footprints of st. Francis,  where he once spent some time. Two round-tables were also held either to consider concrete examples of  living the OFS Rule in the world or themes related to the management of the Order. The biographies of two Blesseds who belonged to the OFS were particularly edifying to the capitulars: Lucien Botovasoa (Madagascar) and Frans Jägerstätter (Austria) as well and the explanation of the process of postulation of Saints. Fraternal evenings were also an important part of the chapter experience, when cultural diversity was celebrated with merry and gifts from different cultural  sources were exchanged. In the last session, the capitulars approved resolutions coming from the work of the past days as well as the budget for the next three years.

lunedì 30 ottobre 2017

Capuchin Lay Volunteers

L'immagine può contenere: 4 persone, persone che sorridono, persone sul palco, persone in piedi e spazio all'aperto
CAPUCHIN LAY VOLUNTEERS
Are you a Lay Roman catholic Christian?
Are you interested in an experience in foreign lands as a volonteer?
The Capuchin Friars will offer you a great opportunity.
Follow the following links for more information
and some pictures of those who have had the experience before you.
https://www.facebook.com/volontariatolaicocappuccino
 Capuchin Lay Volunteers programrun by the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor (www.ofmcap.org).
So far, experience has been made in:
  • Africa: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda andZimbabwe.
  • Asia: India (Assam).
In 2018 we hope to be able to offer a new destination in the Amazon Rainforest. 
Here you can access the galleries of photos taken during the first visits:
More information, together with some videos and testimonies of volunteers,can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/volontariatolaicocappuccino
IN SUMMARY…
Where?
Africa: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda andZimbabue. Asia: India (Assam).
Who?
Anyone aged 18 and over with a strong spirit of service, is welcome.
Training:
Training is offered for volunteers before departure for the missions.
Accommodation:
In Capuchin Franciscan friaries we offer board and lodging and the best possible welcome and attention.
How long?
From one to three months.A longer stay is possible after evaluation.
Types of work:
Education, health care, building projects, local leadership training, agriculture, water& electrification schemes, community development, project management… and much more.
Cost:
Return ticket, costs of visas, medical insurance and vaccinations.
Health:
Yellow Fever vaccination required. The friars will provide basic health care as needed.Anti-malarial prevention is necessary (prophylaxis).
Services:
Most Capuchin houses have landline phones, internet access and other necessary services. It is also possible to obtain a mobile phone number in all destinations.
Communication:
While the volunteers are with us in the missions, there is permanent communication with the organizing team, together with evaluations by the friars and by the volunteers.This is to ensure that the experience is as valuable as it can be for all taking part.


For more information, contact us at:
missioni@ofmcap.org

lunedì 25 settembre 2017

Novena to Saint Francis of Assisi



 SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISSI: NOVENA AND TRANSITUS


Risultati immagini per san francesco d'assisi immagini


Day ONE
Theme:       FAITH
1)      Opening Hymn (St Francis)
2)      Scripture Reading: Rom 5: 1-7
3)      Franciscan Reading: LM 2: 4 P. 538 – Francis of Assisi : The Founder, Vol. II

4) Reflection on Faith

            Faith is a treasure at our disposal from where we draw strength and wisdom when the need arises. It is a priceless gift in our interior. Faith is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. In the midst of difficulties of life, our faith allows us to cling to certain things and beliefs with steadfastness, simply that God exists and knows it all. If we take our faith for granted then we will take our vocation for granted as well. It is with faith that we accepted our call from God and with faith we should live it. Faith is believing and living all that the church teaches and practices: in God as one and three persons, in the sacraments especially Eucharist, in the traditions of the church and in the Blessed Virgin Mary. Without faith, no meaning and no reason for living because it is the foundation of the Christian life in general and the religious life in particular. .Faith is not a thing or an ideology but a relationship with God. St. Francis was a man of faith and so as his followers let us follow his example.