16 May

Lebanon: Formation for Guardians

On May 1-3, 2019, the Guardians and Vicars of the friaries of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land met in Lebanon for three days of fraternity and formation.

On the first day, the friars went on a pilgrimage organized by the community in Sin el Fil, Beirut. They celebrated Mass at the church of Saint Anthony of Padua in Kfarzeina and prayed the Rosary at the Shrine of Saydet el Hosn in Ehden.
The friars spent the next two days studying psychology and Franciscan spirituality, through lectures and discussions led by Friar Lucian HORLESCU from the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania. Several aspects of fraternal relationships were presented, with careful attention paid to responsibilities, conflicts and the role of affectivity. Friar Lucian offered a reinterpretation of the Letter to a Minister by St. Francis of Assisi. Moreover, he invited the friars to continue their journey with joy, and to never grow tired of working on their own limitations.

Friar Lucian ABALINTOAIEI, OFM Conv.

Formazione Per Guardiani (Libano, 1-3 Maggio 2019)

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06 Apr

Presentation on the New Constitutions in Turkey and Lebanon

Friar Timothy KULBICKI, the Secretary of the International Commission for the Revision of the Constitutions (CIRC) visited the friars of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land, at the behest of its Custos, Friar Anton BULAI, to give a presentation on the new Constitutions, which went into effect on February 2, 2019.

The friars, together with the Custos, gathered for two meetings. The first was held March 4, 2019, in Büyükdere, Turkey. The second was held March 7, 2019, in Beirut, Lebanon. Friar Timothy gave his presentation on the Constitutions, under the theme: “Everything Flows from the First Two Numbers of the Constitutions”.

In his introduction, Friar Timothy presented the work of the Commission and the Order, describing how the revision of the Constitutions was carried out through the reflection of all the friars. Then, he talked about the conclusion of the work, describing the final drafting and approval of the Constitutions at the Extraordinary General Chapter held during July and August of 2018, Friar Timothy reminded the friars of the journey they had made, and pointed out the profound reasons why the revision of the Constitutions was needed: the displacement of the Order in new areas around the globe, and new problems in the contemporary world that touch the lives of the friars, emphasizing the importance of the Constitutions for our life. Being familiar with the text of the Constitutions is important for deepening our identity, renewing our life and for ongoing formation.

The theme of the revision of the Constitutions was presented under various aspects: Religio (the Order in its foundation), Fraternity, Minority, Conventuality, Marianity and Communion.

The friars expressed their appreciation and gratitude to Friar Timothy for his fraternal visit, by showing their willingness to put these fundamental principles into practice in their lives.

Friar Martin KMETEC, OFM Conv.

Nuove Costituzioni (2019)

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06 Apr

Franciscan Family Retreat in Lebanon

On Saturday, February 16, 2019, friars and sisters of the nine Franciscan families of Lebanon gathered together for a day of spiritual retreat. This took place within the context of our shared yearly calendar and in preparation for Lent. The retreat was held at the Poor Clares’ Unity monastery in Yarze, Lebanon.

More than fifty-five friars and sisters, along with various young people in formation, met around the theme of fraternal life.
The participating friars from our Conventual family were Friars Roger KOUYOUMDJI, Iosif Florin PETRILA, Felician TAMAŞ and Khalil EL-KHOURY.
It was a time of prayer and Eucharistic adoration. Friar Mikhael MEGHAMES, OFM Cap., gave a beautiful and truthful lecture about fraternal life within our Franciscan spirituality. The day included a lively Mass and a packed lunch with sandwiches and drinks.
As Brother Francis wrote in his Testament (Test 14): “the Lord gave me brothers”. Thus, may initiatives such as this rekindle in us the fire to follow the Lord Jesus, according to the example and life of the Poverello, in our various fraternities in Lebanon.

Friar Roger KOUYOUMDJI
Vicar Custos of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land

 

Famiglia Francescana Libano – Ritiro

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21 Mar

Lebanon: Canonical Visitation

On March 3-10, 2018, the Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), Friar Joaquín AGESTA, conducted a canonical visitation to the two fraternities in Lebanon belonging to the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania.

The Custody has two friaries in Lebanon: one in Beirut (Sin El Fil) and one in Zahlè, which houses the Custody’s postulancy program and serves as a place to welcome prospective vocations. There are nine friars between the two fraternities: five are in the friary-parish of St. Anthony in Beirut, and four are in Zahlè where various ministries are carried out such as Secular Franciscan (OFS) formation, charity towards the poor and the Syrian refugees, and youth and vocational animation. There are two additional young confreres: one is studying sacred scripture in Jerusalem, and the other studying patristics in the U.S.A.
The Zahlè fraternity is just over fifty kilometers [31 miles] from Beirut. The friars have been there for more than ten years. The church next to the friary is still under construction. About two and a half kilometers from the friary, [1.5 miles] the friars also take care of a hermitage dedicated to St. Clare. It is a pilgrimage destination and a meeting place for faithful participating in Easter and Franciscan events (the Palm Sunday procession, Good Friday and the Pardon of Assisi indulgence).
The Custody is preparing for its next Ordinary Custodial Chapter, which will be celebrated during the second week of Easter.

Friar Joaquín AGESTA, Assistant General for the FIMP

 

Visita Assistente FIMP In Libano

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25 Nov

Meeting of the Friars of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land

OFMConv Franciscans from the Middle East came together at Saint Anthony Friary in Istanbul from October 23 to 27, 2017, for a time of formation and sharing.

 

Together with the Provincial Minister of Romania, Friar Teofil Petrișor, the Middle East Friars meditated on their presence and activities in the Custody during these days of very intense meetings. The guide of these days was Friar Marius Petru Bâlha. He offered reflections daily on religious consecration and on dedication to the mission in simplicity and with the prudence of the Holy Spirit.

The fraternal sharing was another detail very useful for helping the brothers to feel that they work together for the Kingdom of God in these lands. The Middle East Custody has great diversity and a wealth of languages, cultures and activities. For this reason this meeting together guided the brothers in strengthening their fraternal spirit in the Franciscan way.

This meeting was part of the preparation for the next Ordinary Custodial Chapter that will be held next year.

friar Lucian Abalintoaiei

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