Publication Name
Vol. 15 - No. 4 - December







O marvellous humility,
O astonishing poverty!


The King of the angels,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
is laid in a manger.

(St. Clare of Assisi, Fourth Letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 20)


Press Release from the C.F.F.

On 3rd October 2003, the Ministers General of the Friars Minor, Capuchins, Conventuals, TOR, OFS and the President of the IFC-TOR met in Assisi for their traditional half-yearly meeting. Fr. Ilija Zivkovic, TOR, took on the presidency for a year.

The six members of the CFF decided on the content of the new Statutes which will be submitted to the CIVCSVA for approval. Among the new articles introduced, there is to be an Executive Council com-posed of delegates of the six Ministers General/ President and has as its aim to put into effect the directives of the Presidency of the CFF.

Photo: (left to right) Fr. John Corriveau, OFMCap., Sr. Carola Thomann, FCJM, Sr. Encarnación, OSF, Sr. Denise Boyle, FMDM, Fr. Joachim Germeck, OFMConv., Fr. José Caballos, OFM. Fr. Ilija Zivcovic, TOR, Sig. Mario di Capua, OSF

As a first duty the Council will need to draw up a programme which calls for maximum participation in the CFF .
The meeting concluded with the intervention of the new President of Franciscans International, Sr. Denise Boyle who gave an account of the activities that have been taking place and the future strategies that have been decided on by the new Executive Committee of FI.

Itinerant School: Croatia

This school was conducted in June and one of the participants gives us her impressions.
"I have always experienced great joy in meetings, with new, unexplored places, new brothers and sisters who enriched me on such occasions. So often I have experienced the truth of this saying of a poet: Meetings are a gift from heaven to earth" (I. Golub).

I was happy to see "Thabor" of Samobor (I had not had the opportunity to visit it before), I was happy to participate in the School and to deepen my knowledge of Franciscan spirituality which is so fascinating and attractive. Yet, I had some questions and wondered if I would be a good pupil in this School.

From the very first day my fears vanished because I soon felt quite at home. In fact, in the wonderful Franciscan environment, the group of sisters and brothers - pupils for this school - felt more like a family each day. In spite of coming from different com-munities and different places, we were united in the strength of Jesus incarnated in the life of the great saints of Assisi, Francis and Clare.

Each day was a gift - a unique occasion for a deeper rediscovery of the rich spiritual heritage of Francis through our Rule. Such a heritage obliges us and invites us to a radical step to come out of our daily routine and sterility. I thank the Most High and good God with all my heart for having participated in this School and the fruits of the joyful communion of these days.

All the participants contributed in their own way to the success of the School; may the Lord be praised for each of them. Numerous relationships, the group work, the solemn Eucha-ristic celebrations and Liturgy of the Hours, various meetings (with the Poor Clares, with the cloistered Carmelites, with the Friars of the Third Order …), moments of joyful communion through recreations, songs … everything contributed to making the multiform School interesting and above all a spiritual renewal for all of us.

On the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we concluded our two weeks of being together with a pilgrimage to Marija Bistrica.

In our national sanctuary, with the Eucharistic celebration, we thanked the Lord for the gifts of the preceding days and with hearts full of joy and invigorated courage, we returned to the places that Providence has designed for each of us.

I wish to thank the capable organisers who dedicated so much work, generosity and enthusiasm. I firmly hope that all this will bear abundant fruit. I think each of us will know how to bring into our life, through the Rule of the Third Order Regular, the enthusiasm that we have acquired from this School and pass on this same enthusiasm to the com-munities we live in, so that we all become the good odour of Christ.

Sr. Katica Dabo



Photo: The group of participants of the Itinerant School in Croatia


How we can participate more actively in the mission of Franciscans International

(continued from the last issue)

8) FI is looking for "best practices" stories -- ways that individuals and groups are able to address inter-national problems at the local level. We then can share these with Franciscans in other areas, as well as in the proper UN fora to promote replication of the successes and to stimulate ideas for positive change. Check out Best Practices in Poverty Eradication: Case Studies from the Field, a joint NGO project in which FI took the leadership. It is on our web site.

9) FI wants to work through existing Franciscan structures wherever possible to develop and enhance our international ministry at the United Nations. Please inform our two international offices (New York and Geneva) about the local, national or regional Franciscan structures and networks that promote Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, as well as information about communications networks.

10) FI is constantly building its international address database for better communications. Sharing addresses and emails of local convents/friaries and province headquarters will help us build and strengthen this international Franciscan network.

11) Your financial support is necessary to make all of this possible. A three year pledge would help FI budget more realistically. For example, a congre-gation might underwrite the cost of one of the newsletters ($15,000 for printing alone), preparation for and participation in the Commission on the Status of Women ($7,000 to $15,000), or living expenses for two interns ($7200 yearly, or $600 for a month).

Family News

The Congregation of "Franziskanerinnen von Vöclabruck" in Austria, have a new "station" (convent), established by Archbishop Tomasz Peta of Astana in Tonoschurowks, North Kazakstan, Jesilski Raion, since 30th April 2003; 3 Sisters live there and work with children, sick people and at the private (Christian) school in Kornejewka. Our Congregation belongs to the Founders of this school "Mittelschulkomplex St. Lorenz". It includes a kindergarten, a home for poor children, an ambulance for the poor ("Mother Elmara") and the school. Altogether there are more than 170 children of various religions and nations. We also support the teachers and educators as well as the children for whom we look for patrons. You will find more on our home page:

The "Hermanas Franciscanas del Rebaño de María" in Cádiz, Spain, send us this news about the closing of the 125th an-niversary of the foundation of their Institute:
"On the 4th October, in the Church of Saint Francis in Cádiz, the closing of the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of "Hermanas Terciarias Franciscanas del Rebaño de María" took place, with the solemn celebration of the Eucharist presided over by His Excellency, Mgr. D. Antonio Cabellos Atienza, Bishop of Cádiz and Ceiuta, with many priests concelebrating.. There were also members of the Franciscan family, religi-ous, family members, enefactors, collaborators and well-wishers who appreciated the work begun by María de la Encarnación Carrasco Tenorio in Cádiz but which quickly spread to other places.
The sisters of the Institute wish to thank God, our Father, for this "Gift", for having brought about this work begun by our foundress, because she was a woman of deep faith and thanks to God, she was able to follow Jesus and give her life for the most needy ones of her time.

Today, the Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of Mary's flock wish to say with John Paul II (Vita Consecrata, nº 110), that we not only have a glorious history to record and relate, but a great history to construct and so we ask you to continue to help us in this construction so that our lives may be spent in God's service and that of his people in charity, humility, simplicity and hospitality in favour of the weakest members of the Mystical body of Christ (General Constitutions, nº 4).

To you and your dear ones, A HEARTFELT THANK YOU!

New leadership

The "Gemeinschaft der St. Anna-Schwestern" (Nº 066, page 16 in the Directory) has a new superior general in the person of Sr. Veronika Mätzler, elected at the general chapter on the 11th October. She replaces Sr. Elvira Keim.

The "Z. Córek Najczystszego Serca Najswietszej Maryi Panny" (Nº 277, page 57 in the Directory), elected Mother Genowefa Nieweglowska as superior general on 3rd July 2003 during their general chapter.

The "Suore Francescane dello Spirito Santo" held their general chapter in Miranda de Ebro, diocese of Burgos, Spain from 20th July to 1st August 2003 and elected Sr. María Ángeles MAJARRÉS as their superior general.

The "Kongregace milosrdnych sester III rádu sv. Frantiska pod ochranou sv. Rodiny" (Nº 360, page 12 in the Directory) held their general chapter this summer and elected Sr. Maria Edita Troppova as Superior General in place of Sr. Martina Bradácová.

Sister Magdalen Sirri is the new superior general of the "Soeurs Franciscaines de Donia".

We wish all the new leaders a fruitful service under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Change of address:

The Congregation of "Franciscan Sisters of St. Mary of the Angels" (Nº 114, page 25 in the Directory) have shifted their generalate house from Angers, France to England.
Their new address is:

The Generalate
Park Place Pastoral Centre
Winchester Road, Wickham
Fareham, Hants, PO17 5HA
Tel./FAX: 01329-835810
and the e-mail