The VIII Plenary Council of the Order on the theme of 'The Grace of working' – has begun. With the solemn celebration of the liturgy of the Word, at which the General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin Br. Mauro Jöhri, presided - on the morning of October 26, the Plenary Council of the Order was officially open.
The place of the meeting is the International College 'San Lorenzo da Brindisi' in Rome. The participants are 44 Capuchin friars; 34 delegates from all over the world and the General Council of the Order. For a good four weeks they will reflect together on various aspects of work understood as a grace. Beyond these 44, there are 30 other friars involved in various services.
"Work, in its various senses, - says Br. Štefan Kožuh, General Vicar and President of the Preparatory Commission – is an essential part of our Capuchin-Franciscan charism: aware of this, and considering the significant changes both with and outside of the Order that affect it, we feel our responsibility, the urgent need to call this to the attention of the whole Order, beginning a serious reflection on these concrete expressions of our experience."
PCO VIII will have two parts:
- First part – "listening to the observers" During the first and part of the second week the members of the PCO will listen to experts who will present on various aspects of work. These academic talks will be accompanied by some presentations of witness that come from fields we work in.
The first phase will conclude next Wednesday, November 4, with a day of retreat, dedicated entirely to prayerful listening to the Spirit of the Lord and its holy manner of operation.
- Second part – "listening to each other" November 5 to 19 will be the creative part of the Council. The friars will dedicate themselves entirely to the process of creating concrete and practical propositions, able to purify, convert, deepen, and make alive 'today' the grace of working in our Order.
"The gospel – said Br. Mauro Jöhri OFMCap at the beginning of the meeting – the life of St. Francis and our Saints, the Rule, our Constitutions, our history; these are the sources that must inspire our thinking and acting. The daring adventure of making inspiration concrete awaits us, a concreteness able to generate renewed humanity, sharing, justice and peace, always trusting in the Lord who precedes and accompanies our steps with his Spirit."
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of all the participants. There was also the putting together of working groups, the election of officials, etc. A series of conferences and witness talks begin on the second day (Tuesday), which will last until November 3.
On our website www.ofmcap.org and blog there will information each day on the work as it is carried out, showing also some parts of the meeting, with the invitation to participation by means of online links to this important event for our Capuchin Order.
Br. Pawel Teperski – Secretary for Communication for PCO VIII