Meeting of the Working Group for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue

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The first meeting of a working group for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue was held at the CEFID in Assisi from November 11-13, 2008. For this first meeting, Friars came from various parts of the world to meet with the General Delegate, Friar Silvestru Bejan and with Friar Jerzy Norel, the Vicar General.

The purpose of the meeting was to gain a mutual awareness, identify the needs and existing initiatives of ecumenism and dialogue, fundamental to our charism, that are present in various parts of the world, and sharing about projects of the government of the Order. From this we came to understand that the responsibility for these areas is not just that of the General Delegate, but also belongs to his collaborators, and actually to every Friar of the Order who wants to live more fully his vocation.

Present for the meeting were Friar Iosif Bisoc (Romania), director of the Franciscan Theological Institute in Roman, Friar Pawel Blok (Poland), a missionary in Kazakhstan, Friar Teodor Jurgensen, from the Sacro Convento community in Assisi, Friar Steven McMichael (U.S.A.), Friar Vogran Santos (Brazil), from the Sacro Convento community, Friar Giuseppe Tondo (Italy), parochial vicar in Spanazzola, Bari, Friar Dariusz Wiśniewski (Poland), from the community in Istanbul, and Friar Roman Ziola (Poland).

Besides the coming together , sharing, and moving forward the project of the General Delegate of the Order, the participants listened to and discussed a rich presentation by Friar Jerzey Norel concerning the documents of the Church and the Order on ecumenism and dialogue, along with a exposé by Father Elio Bromuri, director of the Umbrian Catholic weekly paper, La Voce, instructor in ecumenism at the Theological Institute in Assisi, and director of the diocesan office for ecumenism and dialogue for the Diocese of Perugia.

The next meeting of the group will probably be in Romania in September, 2009, having already begun work on creating some resources to share with the Order from the Delegate and his collaborators.