Meeting of the Secretaries for Mission Animation

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The third meeting (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia) of the Secretaries for Mission Animation for the Jurisdictions of CEC, CIMP and CEO was held from November 14-19, 2010 at the Retreat and Conference Center of the Lazarettos (Vincentians) in Celje, Slovenia.

There were 26 participants taking part in the meeting, which was more than in the first two meetings. However, there were some Jurisdiction missing from the Conferences. Among us were the presenter, Friar Roberto Tomichá, and the General Secretary for Mission Animation, Friar Jarosław Wysoczański. On the third day, the Assistant General of CEC arrived, and his presence among us was very helpful and much appreciated.

The topic of this meeting was “The Missionary Today: Creative, Franciscan, Intercultural”. The first day was dedicated to formation. The presenter, Friar Roberto Tomichá presented a world of today that calls for the development of the Conventual Franciscan Missionary. The world today is very fluid, that is, still in evolution. In this fluid world, we Conventual Franciscans are called to be witnesses to Christ and to His Gospel. The multicultural world has an ever greater place in the intercultural world. We need to seek out new strategies for the development of mission. As Conventual Franciscans, we have a great teacher in St. Francis, of what it is to be missionary. From him we are able to learn respect for various cultures, listen to the poor, and encounter other Religions.

The second day was spend exchanging information on our various missionary activities. At the beginning, the Secretary General for Mission Animation, Friar Jarosław Wysoczański, presented a brief overview of our mission geography. He enthusiastically spoke on the new “Directory for the Missions”. In the afternoon, Friar Valentino Maragno spoke on the missionary activity of the Province of Padua following the second world war up until today, accenting the mission in Chile.

The first part of the third day was dedicated to a lively accounting of our missionary activity in Turkey and Lebanon. For this part we invited Friar Marin Kmetec, who has a long experience in this part of the world, and is an expert on Islam. There is a big difference between Turkey and Lebanon. Turkey offers the missionary experience in a Muslim world, which does not recognize any other Religions. Christians are without rights. Turkey is also a secular state, but Islam is very present in its radical form. In Turkey one must witness by being. The second part of this day was dedicated to the missionary activities and animation of the individual Jurisdictions.

The final day was given over to getting to know our presence in Slovenia. We visited the Friaries of Olimje, Ptujska Gora, and Ptuj, and we met the Friars of the Province over dinner. We left with the agreement to meet next year in Camposampiero, Italy. This meeting yielded much spontaneity from the beginning. We want to organize the following meetings under the patronage and support of the Union of European Conventual Conferences (UCEC).

Friar Janez Kurbus