Franciscans: October 2010 Archives

The Order of Capuchin Friars Minor opened a center for spirituality and formation for religious and laypeople who want to attend courses and retreats in that region. The center, which is inspired by the motto, "I am the light of the world," was inaugurated 28 September 2010.

At the inauguration ceremony, Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, noted that this light is the witness that believers make to those around them. He added that this idea "is a topic of our next synod," which will take place in Rome, beginning Sunday, and will focus on the Middle East.

"In Jerusalem, we can count on hundreds of religious congregations, 14 of which are contemplative communities," the prelate said. "They are the strength and richness of the Latin Catholic Church." He continued: "Today we inaugurate a new center for spirituality and welcome, thanks to the goodwill of our beloved Capuchins, a center called to be light." "True Christians influence the world around them and reflect the light of the Lord," the archbishop affirmed.

The property where the center is located belonged to the Capuchin order since the 1930's, when Archbishop Luigi Barlassina invited the religious to build a convent in the Jewish area of Jerusalem.

However, the friars had to leave Jerusalem during World War II, putting the project on hold. The property was taken over by the state for a psychiatric hospital. The Capuchin center project was later revived in the 1990's.

Present at the inauguration ceremony were: Fr. Mauro J√∂hri, Capuchin General Minister and the entire Definitory; His Beatitude, Archbishop. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem; Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Apostolic Nuncio in Israel; Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custos of the Holy Land; Bishop Francesco Beschi, Bishop of Bergamo; the Capuchin Order's Legal Representative, the General Bursar, the Capuchin Provincial Minister of Venice, other Franciscan Provincials.

The renovation was made possible by a number of benefactors, with a considerable contribution from the Cariplo Foundation.

A photo journal of the center's dedication is here.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem posted a story on the center.

Zenit carried a story on this center.

(this story is reposted and edited from Capuchin Newsnotes, 13 October 2010)

Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, OFM Cap. of Izmir, Turkey, and Administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia and President of the Turkish Episcopal Conference, gave the following intervention today. The point of noting the Archbishop's intervention here is that I believe we have to be concerned with the reality of the Catholic faithful in places outside our neighborhood. Catholics can't simply concerned with matters that are near. The June murder of Capuchin Bishop Luigi Padovese's death has remained a key point in my prayer, interest in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, the missionary aspect of the Church's preaching program and the extent to which one would lay down his life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Is Luigi Padovese a martyr? Franceschini has been clear that Padovese's death was premeditated by Islamic radicals with a hatred toward Christianity while the Turkish authorities insist the murder was personal and not politically or religiously motivated. I am not sure as I didn't know the state of his soul or his true relationship with Christ. The designation of a person as a martyr is a matter for Mother Church to make, but I might be persuaded to think in that direction. Christians comprise less than one percent of the Turkish nation.

Bp Padovese.jpg
"The little Church of Turkey, at times ignored, had her sad moment of fame with the brutal murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese O.F.M. Cap., president of the Turkish Episcopal Conference. In a few words I would like to close this unpleasant episode by erasing the intolerable slander circulated by the very organisers of the crime. It was premeditated murder, by those same obscure powers that poor Luigi had just a few months earlier identified as being responsible for the killing of Fr. Andrea Santoro, the Armenian journalist Dink and four Protestants of Malatya. It is a murky story of complicity between ultra-nationalists and religious fanatics, experts in the 'strategia della tensione'. The pastoral and administrative situation in the vicariate of Anatolia is serious. ... What do we ask of the Church? We simply ask what we are lacking: a pastor, someone to help him, the means to do so, and all of this with reasonable urgency. ... The survival of the Church of Anatolia is at risk. ... Nonetheless, I wish to reassure neighbouring Churches - especially those that are suffering persecution and seeing their faithful become refugees - that the Turkish Episcopal Conference will continue to welcome them and offer fraternal assistance, even beyond our abilities. In the same way, we are open to pastoral co-operation with our sister Churches and with positive lay Muslims, for the good of Christians living in Turkey, and for the good of the poor and of the many refugees who live in Turkey".

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Franciscans category from October 2010.

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