Beginning last Friday, September 15, the Provincial Ministers from all over the world are gathered in Assisi at Santa Maria degli Angeli (the Portiuncula) for an "extraordinary chapter." Over 100 countries are represented. Our own Provincial Minister, Fr. Fred Link, O.F.M., is one of the Americans present.
Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, O.F.M., the General Minister of the entire Order, called this gathering to prepare for the 800th Anniversary of the approval of our way of life which was given by the pope to Saint Francis in 1209. Usually General Chapters (meetings of all of the Provincial Ministers) are held on a regular basis to handle the election of the General Minister and his Council and any necessary business of the Order, such as changes in policies, etc. This meeting is an extra session--thus, an "extraordinary chapter."
Information concerning what is being said and done can be found on the web at www.ofm.org. (I checked the photos on the site yesterday and I did not find a picture of Fr. Fred.)
Our own Province of Saint John the Baptist is on a Three Year Pilgrimage in preparation for the 800th Anniversary. This year we are doing a "Retreat Tour." I will be doing the retreat in October, so I will give first-hand accounts of that when it happens. The friars that have already made the retreat are giving it high praise so I look forward to going.