Publication Name
Vol. 14 - No. 5 - December








A group of TOR members at Fonte Colombo on 7th December 2002, recalling the 20th anniversary of the approval of the TOR Rule on 8th December 1982.Left to right: Fr. James Puglisi, Sr. Celine Monteiro, Fr. Arthur Johnson, Fr. Corpus Izquierdo, Sr. Marcia Lunz, Sr. Margaret Carney.

"Much as in past centuries, the Franciscan ideal of life even in our times continually draws men and women desirous of evangelical perfection and thristing for the kingdom of God". (John Paul II, approving the updated Rule and Life of the TOR).

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the updated Rule of the TOR, let our celebrations penetrate our lives that we, as Franciscans, may 'speak' to our world, a world that is waiting for a message of life from Gospel persons.


The Conference of the Franciscan Family

Many Franciscans do not know of the existence or composition of the CFF. It is also sometimes mistaken for the IFC-TOR or Franciscans International.

What is the CFF? It is the Conference of the Francis-can Family composed of six members: the Ministers General of the Friars Minor, Conventuals, Capuchins, TOR and Secular Francis-cans and the President of IFC-TOR.

The IFC-TOR is the International Franciscan Conference of the Third Order Regular, composed of 385 Franciscan Congre-gations of women and men throughout the world.

Franciscans International (FI) is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) with Number One status at the UNO - the United Nations Organisation.

Coming back to the CFF, the six members had their meeting on 3rd October 2002. As they are the sponsors of Franciscans International, they have the responsibility of appointing the Board of Directors. The previous Board, appointed for a period of three years, has just terminated their term of office and the CFF, after spending much time on reflecting on this, appointed a new Board, reducing the number of 13 members to 10, so as to make it a more workable group as also to reduce expenses of travel for meetings. However, they kept in miind the international character of the group and a good balance between representatives of the 1st Order, the Friars of the Third Order Regular and the Secular Franciscan Order. The new members of the Board are: Fr. David Couturier, OFMCap.; Sr Denise Boyle, FMDM, Sr Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, Ana Maria Olmedo, OFS, Attilio Galimberti, SFO; Fr. Tewelde Bene, OFMCap.; Lucy Almirañez, SFO; Fr. João Ferreira, OFMConv.; Fr. Marcus Heinze, OFM and a member of the TOR Friars who has not yet been appointed.

The CFF studied a proposal from the Inter-Franciscan Commission for Justice and Peace (IFCJP) to establish an Urgent Appeal Network. They decided that this network should connect with the FI Office in Geneva for economic and organisational transactions.

It was decided to have a meeting in December, before Christmas, to discuss possible changes in the Statutes of the CFF.

The meeting ended with fraternal exchanges of experiences and inform-ation. Among other things, it was recalled that this year is the 20th anniversary of the up-dated Rule of Life of the TOR; also, Emanuela De Nunzio was thanked for her years of service as she finishes her second term of office as Minster General of the Secular Franciscans when the General Chapter will be held in November.


News from the Association of Franciscan Families of India (AFFI).

The AFFI, formerly known as the CFMSI (Conference of Franciscan Major Superiors of India) held its General Body Meeting in August of this year.

54 major superiors/ delegates from 39 congregations together with the Delegate/President of the SFO participated.

The theme of the Assembly was "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation". As a common project, the FFI has adopted a village in Gujarat which was com-pletely destroyed by the last earthquake in January 2001. About 200 houses are being reconstructed and are nearly completed together with a community hall and good roads.

In their Message and commitment, among other aspects, they "felt the urgency to rededicate ourselves to the prophetic vocation of Francis and Clare and to work for a better world that will reflect the Kingdom values pro-claimed by Jesus.

"We affirm that our people, among whom we live and work, must be able to see God-experienced persons by our simplicity of life, prayerful disposition and our life of contemplation.

"We promote inculturation of the Franciscan life and the Gospel project among the marginalised … that we make a deeper study of the language, culture, philo-sophy, poetry, art, music … of the marginalised sections of our society so that we grow in respect and appreciation for them.

"To further the cause of the Kingdom, we recommend that every effort should be made to conscientise and mobilise people against the capitalistic mode of globalisation which makes the rich richer and the poor poorer …"

We wish the FFI every success in their endeavours and we would be happy to receive news from other national conferences/ federations, too.


Family News

The "Irmãs Catequistas Franciscanas" whose Superior General, Sr. Terezinha Antonia Soto-pietra is on the IFC-TOR Council, suffered a great loss and sadness, too, when one of their sisters, Sr. Hedwige Rossi, was fatally assaulted. She was 60 years old, had been in the country for five years and was working in an impoverished area of the parish of San José. She was returning home with another sister after having cast their votes in the second round of voting in the presidential elections. Two individuals passed on a motorcycle and gave Sr. Hedwige a hard blow at the base of her cranium. She fell on the pavement and received more blows on her face which made her bleed through the mouth, nose and ears. She was robbed of the money and documents she was carrying. She was taken to the hospital and passed away after being in a coma for 13 days. Some religious congregations are negotiating with the embassy to transport her remains to her country.

We offer our heartfelt sympathies to Sr. Terezinha and the whole congregation and pray for the eternal repose of Sr. Hedwige.


On the 4th October, the "Hermanas Terciarias Franciscanas del Rebaño di Maria" celebrated the 124th anniversary of their foundation. Rev. Fr. José Luis Salido, o.f.m., superior of the convent celebrated the Eucharist at which numerous members of the Franciscan family of Cádiz assisted to give thanks to God for the gift of Sr. M. de la Encarnación Carrasco Tenorio who, on the 4th October 1878 took the habit together with three other sisters, thus beginning the Institute in favour of children and adults in need.

Today the Congregation is spread throughout Spain and Peru, looking after the all-round formation of children, young people adults, single mothers and women who are ill treated, the elderly, the sick, and immigrants while working for evangeisation in mission countries and many other apostolic activities, under the action of the Holy Spirit, thus making the charism of Mother Encarnación present".


The "Petites Franciscaines de Marie" held their General Chapter from 24th June to 7th July and re-elected Sr. Carmen Gravel as Superior General. They affirm: "Fortified by the strength that God gives us and counting on the solidarity of the inter-Franciscan family and the support of prayer of those who intercede so that the Good News may be spread and lived, we move forward, small but confident, like pilgrims who are passionate for God and the world. May the Living One come to our help so that through us and our sisters in Quebec and the United States and Madagascar, Love may be loved! In this hope, we go forward."

The "Congregación de Misioneras Eucaristicas Franciscanas" of Mexico thank all for their prayers on the occasion of their XIVth General Chapter which took place in a sisterly atmosphere and concluded on 4th August. They elected a new superior general in the person of Sr. María Luisa Gonzalez Galindo and ask to continue praying that the "Spirit of the Lord may show us the way to follow, while we offer ourselves in the spirit of re-foundation, to give witness to the values of the Kingdom".

After two full months of intensive work, reflection and prayer, "The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary" concluded their general chapter on 30th October, having taken as their theme: "Gospel Women, let us revive the gift of God received for a new world". In their concluding document, they state: "On the threshold of this new millennium, with the beatification of (our foundress), Mary of the Passion (on 20th October, Mission Sunday), the Church confirmed the value of our charism, a gift for the world. In our hands we carry this 'treasure' for which we are all responsible and we share it joyfully with the new generations of FMM … This Chapter of 2002 brought us together from many countries and cul-tures. Franciscan Missionaries of Mary gifted with the same charism, Sisters living together, discerning and discovering deeper levels of who we are, our life announces a new world, and we believe our life can question the negative effects of globalisation: marginalisation, exploitation and exclusion of entire peoples … Like the women of the Bible who have gone before us, imbued with the Gosepl, we say YES again: GOSPEL WOMEN, REKINDLING THE GIFT OF GOD, as DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, SENT IN UNIVERSAL MISSION IN THE WORLD OF TODAY".

The Chapter also re-elected Sister Christiane Mégarbané as superior general for a second term of office of six years.


The "Franciscaines de la Propagation de la Foi" elected Sr. Marie Joseph Dodane as superior general, replacing Sister Gabrielle Marguin.

Sister Will van Hooijdonk replaces Sr. Els Weemaes as superior general of the "Zusters Franciscanessen van Mariadal" in the Netherlands.

Sister Madeleine Leblanc replaces Sr. Jeannine Ganache as superior general of the "Oblates Franciscaines de St-Joseph" in Canada..

Sr. Patricia Burkard has been replaced by Sr. Marion Rose Mansius as superior general of the Sisters of St Francis of the TOR of Buffalo

Sr. Marie Lucey has been replaced by Sr. Lynn Patrice Lavin as Congregational Minister of the Sisters of St Franics of Philadelphia.

Sr. Helen Malolepsy has been re-elected Superior General of the "Francescane dell'Addolorata.


We wish all our members a Joy-filled Christmas

as Jesus is born again for us,

with the prayer that the day will come

when all peoples will worship Him, the Messiah.


A Grace-filled, Peace-filled New Year, too!


This logo is a reminder of the General Assembly so that its message may not remain on paper but be impregnated in our lives. In April/May 2001, at this Assembly, we committed ourselves: