Friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles (Santi Apostoli)

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Just a few meters off of the Piazza Venezia, often considered to be the very center of Rome, you will find the administrative center of the Order at the Friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles (Santi Apostoli) next to the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles first given to the Conventual Franciscan Friars in 1517 by the Holy See. The Friary is owned by the Vatican, while the Basilica is under the care of the Italian State.  Given the expense of maintaining such magnificent buildings as the Basilica, we are grateful that the State is assuming so much of the expense so that the Order is able to use our monies for our work around the world, even though it is a very sacred place, containing the mortal remains of the Apostles Philip and James the Less.

The Friars living here have a variety of ministries. Not only are we engaged in the work of the General Government of the Order, but we also care for the Basilica, work at the Vatican, teach in some Universities in Rome, serve the poor, develop the arts within the Order, plus everything that is involved in taking care of a house this size. There are 37 Friars presently assigned to the Friary, ranging in age from 31-99. They come from 11 different countries representing 18 different jurisdictions within the Order. Being in the heart of Rome, Italian is the most common language for everyday use, but one often hears all four of the official languages of the order spoken.

The primary ministry of the Friary is, of course, that of the General Government of the Order. Here the General Definitory resides and has their offices. They are, however, often traveling to the Conferences and Federations for which they are responsible. A guideline established by the Minister General is that all the Definitors try to be back to the Curia the  week prior to the Definitory meeting, in order to prepare the necessary reports for the meeting and take care of other business in their offices. To accomplish this they have scheduled their meetings through 2009, which has also given a great incentive to the rest of the community by allowing us to schedule our Conventual Chapters the Thursday before the Definitory meetings when all the Friars can be present. Our neighboring Friary of St. Maximilian Kolbe has been most generous is helping to cover the responsibilities of the Basilica and the reception desk so that all of our Friars can come to Chapter.

Also busy among the General Administration of the Order is the General Secretariat which now has three full-time collaborators with the General Secretary to maintain the data base, the website, the translations, and the practicality of obtaining visas.  A full-time collaborator has also been appointed for the office of the General Treasurer. These are all further ways in which the General Secretary has assumed the execution of the restructuring approved by the recent General Chapter. The maintenance and good order of the General Archives of the Order as well as the ancient library of the Friary is a continuous job. However, these areas of responsibility along with the Friar responsible for Canonical cases and the Friar responsible for the Causes of Saints, those responsible for the maintenance of the house and buying all that is necessary for our daily needs, make up a more stable community who, by our presence and our regular common celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, are able to nourish the Friars of the General Definitory when they do come home.

- Friar Peter Damian Massengill


  friar Peter Damian MASSENGILL

  of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, USA
- Guardian
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   Convento Ss. XII Apostoli
   Piazza Ss. Apostoli, 51
   00187 Rome, Italy

    (0039) 06.699571
    (0039) 06.69957321