A Chapter Closed

This is the first moment I have had free to get back to the blog and give everyone an update. Our general chapter ended on Saturday evening and was capped by the solemn celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost, yesterday.

On Friday at aproximately 1:45 pm Father Stefano Maria Manelli, Founder and Minister General of our Institute from the beginning was reelected for a third term. Canon law requires that a third term for any major superior of a religious institute be “postulated,” which means that the chapter members must elect him by a two-thirds majority and then have the “postulation” ratified by the Holy See. After the ballots where counted and Father Stefano’s two-thirds majority was confirmed by the “scrutitores” (the ones who scrutinize), two of the chapter fathers rode on a motor scooter to the Vatican to present the “postulation” to the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life. He happily signed the postulation and so we have Father Stefano for another three years. Deo Gratias!

This is a picture of all the chapter fathers:

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Mission to Rome

Well, I am on my way to the Logan Airport. I fly out this evening for Rome. Our general chapter begins on Tuesday morning with two day retreat, and then the chapter begins deliberations on matters concerning our order. On the eve of Pentecost the Minister General and his vicar will be elected.

Please pray for our order, the Franciscans of the Immaculate and for the chapter fathers, that we will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

I will try to post, if I can. I am bringing a camera. I hope to visit a few places that would be interesting to anyone with the spirit of chivalry. I will be back on May 14. I leave you with a section from the legislation of the friars concerning our Marian Vow. It is the spirit of chivalry:

The constitutive element most specific to the Marian Vow is the “unlimited” character of the consecration to the Immaculate.

In its most obvious and fundamental meaning, “unlimitedness” is the completeness of dedication to and possession by the Immaculate, excluding any limit and reservation, condition and regret of any kind. Gradually, in accord with the original inspiration of the Founder, there takes shape that resemblance to Her who in the Coredemption realized the most perfect unlimited love.

From this it follows that unlimited consecration to the Immaculate includes all other possible offerings and excludes none, nor can it exclude any, in virtue of the very nature of unlimitedness, which does not admit limits of any kind.

Because of this the Marian Vow entails “heroic action and unlimited striving for perfection”. It includes in itself an offer to be a “victim”, even beyond the furthest limit, namely, the immolation that is “martyrdom”. In the Marian Vow is found the most complete and radical offer of self to the Immaculate: She may demand “everything” from Her consecrated, ask any sacrifice and heroism, even that of being consumed as a victim of sacrifice and of immolating one’s life with the violent death of a martyr (cf. Const. 26), after the example of the death of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe.

That is the ideal. Please pray that we live it.

Ave Maria! Hopefully, I you will hear from me again soon.