Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum EN

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updated 3:16 PM UTC, Apr 12, 2024

Capuchin Presence in Albania

The Capuchin Friars arrived in Albania in the year 1993, shortly after the fall of the regime, and have proved to be an outstanding presence in this Balkan country. There are currently three fraternities with three friars in each, two Albanians, three Germans and four Italians, and they constitute a Delegation under the Province of Bari, Italy. The three friars of the Province of Germany make up a fraternity in the mountainous area. The communist dictatorship from 1945 to 1990 imposed a very harsh and bloody religious persecution on the country, giving this land a new generation of martyrs, adding to the many others of past centuries.The witness of these martyrs is clearly felt wherever the Catholic Church is present, as is St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Albania’s most illustrious daughter. With a population of 2,500,000, the country is currently experiencing a mass exodus. Over the last 10 years almost one million people (especially young people) have emigrated, and most of those who remain want to find a way to leave as soon as possible; this greatly complicates pastoral and vocational work: frequently, those who the friars worked with or ministered to in the past are no longer there. The brothers of the Delegation are trying to live our values as part of their mission: fraternity, minority, prayer and apostolic life, as is the model for the "St. Lawrence of Brindisi Fraternities". Indeed, the intense, inventive pastoral work that occupies all the friars is carried out in a very fraternal manner. They do not have employees to do the housework and they manage to live a rhythm of prayer and meditation in conformity with the Capuchin life. They also make a great effort at inculturation by striving to embrace the language and the customs and by the sensitivity with which they serve the poor and the local church. Among the friars’ many commitments in the two dioceses where they are present is their responsibility for youth ministry. We should also note the closeness and cooperation the friars share with other congregations of the area over many initiatives, such as their popular collaborative missions. 

We pray that the Lord continues to bless our vibrant presence in Albania, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, so that the brothers may persevere in their holy service and that they may also be blessed with new vocations in this complicated environment.

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 19 April 2023 07:56