Historic North-South Meeting

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For the first time the Conventual Franciscan leadership of North America met with the Latin American leadership from January 28 to February 1, 2009.

This included Provincials, Custodes and Delegates from 19 countries and three continents, as well as the Minister General and the two Assistants General for CFC and FALC.  The event was hosted at our retreat center in San José, Costa Rica.

While on one hand this seemed long overdue, on the other hand the deep scars of colonialism and economic dominance had, in part, kept such a gathering from happening in the past.  The event was historic and thoroughly fraternal.  From the liturgies and prayer, to our formal meetings and informal fellowship, the spirit of openness and brotherhood were as natural as the tropical breezes.

We began with a day of recollection led by the two Assistants General, Brother John-Joseph Dolan and Brother Jorge Fernandez.  We then spent two days sharing about the religious context of our various countries and the blessings and challenges of our jurisdictions.  The last two days we dialogued as well as received some input from Friar Marco Tasca, the Minister General.

For all the differences there were many more similarities and certainly a shared vision about Conventual life and the need to be bearers of the Gospel.  

Countries Represented by the CFC and FALC: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Equator, Great Britain, Honduras, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Jim Kent

Participants on top of a volcano

Working group at the meeting

Friar Juan Spoto, Custos of Mexico and Friar Jim Kent, Vicar Provincial of OLC