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
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.
 Capuchin Lay Volunteers programrun by the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor (
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:
Africa: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda andZimbabue. Asia: India (Assam).
Anyone aged 18 and over with a strong spirit of service, is welcome.
Training is offered for volunteers before departure for the missions.
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.
Return ticket, costs of visas, medical insurance and vaccinations.
Yellow Fever vaccination required. The friars will provide basic health care as needed.Anti-malarial prevention is necessary (prophylaxis).
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.
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:

lunedì 25 settembre 2017

Novena to Saint Francis of Assisi


Risultati immagini per san francesco d'assisi immagini

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.


Risultati immagini per san Francesco d'assisi immagini



La fête de Saint-François
le 4 octobre

Neuvaine à dire du 26 septembre au 4 octobre
En 1181 ou 1182, naît à Assise Jean, fils de Pierre Bernardone et de Dame Pica. Le père est un riche marchand drapier, et lors de son retour de France, il surnomme son fils François. François est un boute-en-train, et toute la jeunesse d’Assise profite de ses largesses. Il rêve de devenir chevalier, ce qui serait une promotion sociale pour lui qui fait partie des Minores.
Après la guerre d’Assise contre Pérouse il reste captif là-bas pendant environ un an ; s’ensuit une longue maladie. Lors d’un départ comme chevalier, la voix du Seigneur lui dit qu’il ne faut pas servir le serviteur mais le Maître. Petit à petit la vie de François change, il se convertit à la volonté sur Seigneur.

venerdì 23 giugno 2017

OFS Netherlands elective chapter 2017

The national Fraternity of OFS-Netherlands held an elective chapter in Huiz Elizabeth, Denekamp from 9th to 11th June this year. OFS-Netherlands has some 230 members belonging to some 13 local Fraternities. The national elective chapter is a very important moment of the life of each national fraternity. At this event, all professed members (or delegates, according to the national Statutes and as is the case here) come together to choose by secrete ballot the Council and Minister who are to guide and animate the national fraternity for the next mandate, which is generally a three-year period.  

The elective session will normally be preceeded by a working session particularly marked by a report from the out-going national Minister covering the past three years, and a financial report from the Treasurer or Financial Secretary. Other reports too may be made. The eletive session of the recent chapter was precided by Màrton Beke, OFS Hungary, delegated by Tibor Kauser, OFS General minister. The working session was coordinated by Fr. Rob Hoogenboom, OFM Provincial Minister of the Netherlands. 

The Conference of General Spiritual Assistants was represented by Fr. Francis Bongajum Dor, OFMCap. At the elections that was done on Saturday June 10th after the normal invocation of the Holy Spirit, the following were chosen to constitute 

the national Council for the next three years: 
Theo Reuling - National minister (first term)
Marianne Versteegh - National vice minister (First term)
Michel Versteegh - Treasurer and International Councilor Substitute
Secretary - Gijs ter Veer
Formator - Jan Biljsma
National Spiritual assitant (Not eletected) - Wim Pot, OFM.

lunedì 23 gennaio 2017

Immagine Ben Brevoort (OFMCap)

Fra. Benitius Brevoort, OFMCap. 
Nascita: 04/03/1938 in Kota Raja, Diocesi di Meda, Indonesia.
Professione temporanea: 31/08/1957
Professione Perpetua: 31/08/1960
Ordinazione Presbiterale: 22/02/1964
Assistente Generale OFS-GiFra: 1990-2002
RIP: 17/01/2017 in Medan, Indonesia
Guaridano del Convento di Garbatella-Roma, 2012-2015.

martedì 17 gennaio 2017

Ben Brevoort

Fra Benitius Brevoort, OFMCap
(Fra Ben Brevoort)
Assistente Generale OFS-GiFra  (1990-2002)
                   RIP, Indonesia, 17 febbraio 2017

“Lui era un buon uomo e un buon frate che ha dato molto all'OFS, e sicuramente a tante altre persone e istituzioni. Ricordo come fino all'anno scorso ancora ci aiutava come interprete durante gli incontri della Presidenza con chiarezza e efficacia, con generosità e semplicità.  Che Dio gli dia il premio di un servo buono e fedele.”       Fr. Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR.

 “Fra Ben, buon uomo e buon frate ha fatto molto all'OFS, e sempre ci aiutava con generosità e semplicità. Che Dio gli dia il premio di un servo buono e fedele”.  Fr. José Antonio Cruz Duarte,  Fr. Pedro Zitha. OFM.

"It is with a heavy heart that I offer my most sincere condolences on the death of our brother, Fr. Ben Brevoort.  I have know Fr. Ben for almost as long as I have been a Secular Franciscan, having first met him when he came on a visit to the National Fraternity of Canada in the early 90's.  Since then, our paths have crossed frequently.  He was so gifted, especially with languages, and the OFS International Presidency benefited greatly from his skills in this area and his willing generosity to share his gifts with us.  He was such a wonderful example of a brother who loved and embraced his vocation. I think it can also be said that he had a "weak spot" for Secular Franciscans.  He will surely be missed by the entire Franciscan Family. You, along with the members of your Capuchin community, will be in my thoughts and prayers during these days of grief and loss. I am consoled with the thought that he will surely continue to intercede for all of us ... on the other side of the veil". Doug Clorey, ofs  Cornwall, Prince Edward Island,  CANADA.