The XIV General Chapter and VI Elective Chapter Domus Pacis Conference Centre Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, Italy - November 1-8, 2014

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1 The XIV General Chapter and VI Elective Chapter Domus Pacis Conference Centre Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, Italy - November 1-8, 2014 by Marion Clorey, International Councillor, Canada Monday, November 3 The main theme of the chapter How to manage an International Order like the OFS was explored through presentations by Tibor Kauser and Benedetto Lino and further considered in the working groups. They reminded us that we are all called to holiness and our Rule and General Constitutions provide us with a basis for this. It is our lived experience as Christians in fraternity, however, where we live out this call. The chapter approved a motion that all fraternities worldwide would continue the discussion of how we manage the Order. This project will be led by a Presidency study group and a conclusive document will be presented at the 2017 General Chapter. Tuesday, November 4 Today we voted on the upcoming budget which was approved. We also had a Round table of ofs members which consisted of witnesses from a married couple from France on family life, a woman from Rwanda who runs a centre for young people, a woman from China fostering ofs development there and a young woman from France who lives a consecrated life. Such diversity in our order! Wednesday, November 5 The General Chapter discussed a new distribution of areas to be represented by the seven councillors of the Presidency. Changes were proposed due to the uneven distribution of national fraternities in the current setup. For example, the Councilllor for English Africa, Asia-Oceania had 30 national fraternities while the German councillor had four. Three options were presented: 1. - maintain the present configuration, 2. Option one and 3. Option two. The Chapter voted to change the present situation to Option two, a configuration which is more equally distributed, aligns more neighboring fraternities within the same group and respects language groups as far as possible. In Canada s case, we are part of North America and English speaking countries in Africa whereas before we were under the presidency councillor for Europe and North America. Countries may request to switch from their group if they are not happy with the group in which they are placed. Wednesday was the last day of operation for the Presidency as election proceedings were begun that evening. Candidates for election presented themselves. I declined a nomination for presidency councillor made by the National Fraternity of Slovakia. A major change that occurred in the nomination process was that Tibor Kauser allowed his name to stand for Minister General and Chelito Nunez withdrew her name for that position but remained as a nominee for Vice-Minister General. Our National fraternity had nominated both of these individuals. Thursday, November 6 This was the day of the actual election. I had been nominated as a possible secretary of elections on the first day of the chapter. Because the other nominee was running in the election, I was called to be secretary. The biggest challenge was the roll call with so many names from different languages.

2 Fr. Nicholas Polichnowski, General Minister,TOR (pictured here) presided over the elections. He was assisted by Fr. Amando Trujillo Cano,TOR, General Assistant. Marion Clorey, Secretary of Elections, taking roll call. Election Results Tibor Kauser ( Hungary), our former presidency councillor who presided at our National elections in 2012, was elected Minister General and Chelito Nunez(Venezuela -former Spanish Presidency councillor) was elected as Vice-Minister General. With the change in area configuration, some new nominees came forth. Ana Fruk, the former Youfra councillor, was running against a slate of seven candidates for the English- Italian position. I also nominated her from the floor for the English-German position and she was successful. She has done a wonderful job in leading Youfra, speaks several languages and is just over 30! Another one of our nominees, Augustine Young Hak Yoon (Korea) was successful in the Asia-Oceania position. Our new presidency councillor is Jenny Harrington (South Africa). The other elected presidency councillors are Attilio Galimberti, (Italy - English-Italian formerly on the presence in the world commission), Ana Maria Raffo Laos (Peru) as Spanish councillor and Michel Janian (Lebanon) as French Councillor. Michel is a young man who speaks several languages including French, English and Arabic. He has dual citizenship (Canadian and Lebanese). He grew up in Montreal and has since moved back to Lebanon. Silvia Noemi Diana (Argentina) was elected for Portuguese- Spanish Latin America and the new Youfra councillor is Andrea Odak (Bosnia- Herzegovina). The four General Assistants also form part of the presidency. Fr. Francis Bongajum Dor, ofm Cap. from Cameroon was recently appointed as a General Assistant. He speaks both French and English quite well so would be ideal for our elective chapter. The presidency includes the Minister and Vice- Minister General, the eight councillors (seven areas plus Youfra councillor) and the four General Assistants for a total of 14 positions. (see the photo below with shots of the 14 members of the Presidency.) The Secretary and Treasurer will be appointed by the Presidency. They do not have a vote and work out of the secretariat in Rome. The Presidency decides who will be responsible for formation and other positions from among their membership or they may appoint members to commissions from outside the presidency.

3 The newly elected Presidency was installed at a Mass of Thanksgiving Friday evening in the Upper Basilica surrounded by the beautiful frescoes of the life of St. Francis. L-R, at ambo, Chelito Nunez, Tibor Kauser, in front of altar - Michel Janian, Ana Fruk, Ana Maria Raffo Laos, Jenny Harrington, Silvia Noemi Diana, Attilio Galimberti, Augustine Young Hak Yoon

4 The celebration of the election concluded with a wonderful concert which included two Franciscan opera singers and a friar who performs as a magician. Did I mention we are a very diversified family? Friday, November 7 Friday was devoted to working on the priorities for the next six years to give direction to the newly elected Presidency. Capitulars had free time in the afternoon to visit Assisi. As I had agreed to work on the conclusions, I sent my wish list with Doug! Priorities included focussing on how to manage the order, communication, family, formation, vocations, finances, presence in the world, Youfra and emerging fraternities. The evening concluded with voting on the conclusions and priorities followed by a celebration of the many people who had volunteered at the chapter and a parting gift for the outgoing Minister General Encarnita del Pozo. Saturday, November 8 We travelled by bus to La Verna. We had mass there and then visited and prayed at the various sites. In the afternoon, we had a presentation on La Verna. At 3pm, the daily procession of the stigmata took place. We actually participated in the procession.

5 When we returned to Assisi, a gathering occurred to recognize the retiring members of the presidency (Below). L-R, Doug Clorey (Canada -Vice-Minister General), Benedetto Lino (Italy-Italian), Michelle Altmeyer (France-French), Maria Apericida (Brazil - Portuguese), Ewald Kreuser (Austria German), Encarnitia del Pozo (Spain Minister General) and Lucy Almiranez ( Philippines English speaking Africa, Asia-Oceania) leave the presidency after many years of devoted service. Brothers and sisters from all around the world were informed of chapter activities almost instantaneously through social media and were able to participate in some of the liturgies by live feed. I was overwhelmed with the love and support that was experienced and all the good work that is being done around the world. At the same time I was reminded that there is much pain and suffering in our world including for our own OFS brothers and sisters. I left the chapter with a renewed spirit to live a fraternal and evangelical life.

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