Publication Name
Vol. 15 - No. 2 - June








"When, therefore, it came to Palm Sunday, (Clare) appeared among the women resplendent for the joy that shone in her, and merrily she entered the church with her companions. There it befell her according to God's Providence for when the moment came for all to approach the altar and receive the blessed olive Clare was held back by shyness. Seeing this the bishop came down the steps to where she was and put the palm in her hand."

Thus, the Clare Jubilee Year was officially opened on Palm Sunday. The Ministers General of the Franciscan Family suggest celebrating the 750 anniversary of the death of St Clare from Sunday, 13th April 2003 to 11th August 2004. In a letter dated 4th November 2002, the Ministers General said: "Her poverty resounds throughout the world as a 'sign of contradiction'. May each of us, in the different areas where we are present seek the most adequate ways of bringing the whole Franciscan family to honour St Clare. Let us benefit by this 750th anniversary in such a way that no Franciscan can say: 'I do not know St Clare very much' ".
What will Clare's message be for us this year?

International Year of Water

This year is also the International Year of WATER. Clare's name means 'clear'; it could also mean 'limpid' and both these adjectives are asso-ciated with Sister Water. Let us ask Clare to teach us to respect and have a concern for Sister Water as this is an important aspect of concern for creation. Very soon a booklet will be published on 'Religious: Reverence and Concern for Water'. You may see it on the following web page: or or www.ofm-jpic/aqua

On 9th May, the Commission on Sustainable Development named water as the priority theme for its first "Implementation Cycle" meeting next year. Since FI had joined other Religious at the UN in calling on the international community to acknowledge access to water as a basic human right and to take specific steps to reach this goal, FI applauded this action. For the full text, "Water for Life, Streams of Justice,"
For more information see:

Conference of the Franciscan Family

The Conference of the Franciscan Family (CFF) held their meeting, as is traditional, on Monday of Holy Week, 14th April 200

The six members decided to introduce a series of structural modifications to the present Statutes in order to be more precise in its activities. Once the new text has been reviewed by the canonists of the Order, it will be submitted to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and societies of Apostolic Life for approval.

The members then noted the change in the Executive Committee of Franciscans International with Sr. Denise Boyle, FMDM as President and Sr. Margaret Mary Kimmins OSF, as Vice President.

They also considered the report on the "Franciscan Ecumenical Initiative" that took place in Rome and Assisi from 2nd to 7th December 2002 with the participation of Friars and Sisters belonging to the Anglican, Lutheran and Catholic Churches. The six members of the CFF hinted that this initiative may be institutionalised with the involvement of all the branches of the Franciscan Family, the Secular Franciscan Order included.

(Tau-Info of December 2002 gave you news of this encounter).

The meeting ended with cordial exchanges of expe-riences and information.

The Franciscan Conference in Slovenia

A brief historical note:
In May 1980, the Major Superiors - both men and women - of the different groups of the Franciscan Family in Slovenia met to prepare the 800th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis. The good collaboration as also the stimuli of the superiors of the Franciscan Order brought forth the desire to come together as the National Franciscan Conference.

The Conference was founded on the 8th of June 1987 at Lubljana, with the unanimous consent of the seven Major Superiors of the Orders, Congregations and Secular Institutes of the Franciscan Family in Slovenia. The National Assistant and the President of the Secular Franciscan Order are also members together with a representative of the Franciscan Youth.

The present president, elected on the 26th of September 2002 with a term of office of three years, is the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor, Fr. Satne Zoré.

The Conference has annual meetings. On such occasions, an 'expert' is invited to speak on the theme chosen in relation to actual situations.

Some of the themes of past years have been:
* The role of Franciscans in the Peace and Justice Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Slovenia (Dr. Anton Stres);
* Ongoing Formation (Fr. Janez Kurbus, OFM Conv.) who is translating themes of ongoing formation from German;
* Fr. Janez Samperi, OFMConv., president of the national assistants of the Secular Franciscan Order, presented the Constitutions and Statutes.
* A programme to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the death of Saint Clare (2003-2004).
* An invitation to Religious to collaborate with the Secular Franciscans for spiritual assistance, spiritual exercises, pro-moting the Franciscan Youth and popular missions.

These are some of the activities in brief.

Sr. Angela


Photo: (left) Foundress Maria di Gesù Crocifisso Petkovi

We rejoice with the Sisters "Figlie della Misericordia del T.O.R. di San Francesco" on the occasion of the Beatification of their foundress Maria di Gesù Crocifisso Petkovi to take place on the 6th of June in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Changes in Leadership

Several Congregations have held general chapters since we last published Tau-Info, and also elected new members in their general administration.

The Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn have elected Brother Shane Burke, replacing Bro. Kevin Smith. His mandate becomes effective from 1st June 2003.

The "Hermanas Terceras Franciscanas Misioneras de la Inmaculada Concepción" held their General Chapter from 26th to 30th December 2002 and elected Sister Nimia Rosa Neira Molina as superior General, replacing Sr. Beatriz Villalobos Ramos.

The Congregation of "Irmãs Franciscanas do Coração de Maria" held their General Chapter from the 27th of December 2002 to the 5th of January 2003 and elected Sr. Elza Maria Pianta as their new superior general, replacing Sr. Luisa Bertazzoni.

The Franciscan Missionary Brothers celebrated their XIIth General Chapter at their Mother House and Generalate in Mt. Poinsur, Borivli, Mumbai, from 7th to 21st February 2003. "The theme of the Chapter was 'The Reinterpretation of CMSF Charism in the context of the Third Millennium'. The 45 del-egates from nine countries tried to share and study the aspirations and consider-ations of 450 confrères across the world and the people of God under their care.

"The Chapter was a decisive moment for the Franciscan Brothers and a specific point in their history to discern God's will: what service they are called upon to render to the people of God, to evaluate their fidelity to the charism of the institute, their spiritual and practical unity, sense of the present time, adaptation to place and culture, etc. There was a constant search to draw new light and energy from the Holy Spirit and the presence of the Spirit became a reality. The Assembly experienced the power of the Spirit working in them through various ways, peoples and events. There was a new time of the Spirit which helped us to attain new possibilities, plans, new avenues and further innovations. It is believed that the Spirit of God continues to guide and support the endeavours of the Missionary Brothers of Saint Francis of Assisi to rediscover the true moorings of their charism and interpret it to make it relevant in our times."

On the 20th February 2003 elected Bro. Joseph Karimalayil as their new superior general, replacing Bro. Pius Kizhakkebhagam.

The Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary re-elected Sr. M. Carola Thomann as superior general for another term of six years.

We wish all the newly elected or re-elected superiors general God's blessings and the guidance of the Spirit to carry out their responsibility in fidelity to their charism for the growth of the Kingdom.

Change of address:

The Franciscaines de Seillon have changed the address of their generalate house to:
Suore Francescane di Seillon,
Casa Generalizia,
Via Ireneo Affo, 28
00135 Roma.

Ongoing Formation

The Franciscan International Study Centre in Canterbury offers a variety of possibilities for formation in Franciscan spirituality:
+ A Certificate in Franciscan Formation
+ A Certificate in Franciscan Formation and Spiritual Direction
+ An Award in Franciscan Studies
+ A Franciscan Sabbatical

If you are interested, write to:

The Director of Franciscan Studies,
Franciscan International Study Centre,
Giles Lane,
United Kingdom.

If you are interested in learning languages, the "Mission-Langues ASBL" at Rue des Fusillés 5,
B - 4141 Banneux N-D, Belgique,
offers courses in English, French, Spanish and Italian.