On May 3, 2021, at 8:00PM (Rome time) the First Capuchin Pan-American Meeting celebrated its solemn opening exercises. The meeting was held online, with the participation of the major superiors of the American circumscriptions, the delegates, and members of the General Curia.
After introductions, a remembrance took place of brothers from the Americas who died as a result of Covid-19. The friars evoked the Holy Spirit, lighting candles that signified the divine presence, upon which the Minister General officially declared the event open.
The councilors from the Americas (Br. José Angel Torres, Br. Celestino Arias and Br. Silvio de Almeida) introduced themselves, as well as the three special guests (Cardinal Sean O'Maley of the USA; Br. Bernardo Molinas of Chile; and Br. Luis Carlos Susin of Brazil). The General Minister, Br. Roberto Genuin, then took the stand and reviewed the collected results from the preparatory local chapters; he then offered guidelines targeted to the major issues that will be explored by the delegates during the course of the meeting.
After reviewing the schedule and various other details for the next meetings and officially inviting all the delegates to actively participate in all the proposed activities, the Minister General invoked a blessing, entrusting to the Lord the success of the gatherings, particularly regarding the Capuchin friars of the Americas who are being considered for canonization.
Due to the pandemic, the "in person" meeting scheduled for May 2, 2021 has been postponed until next year (May 1-8, 2022); despite this, it was nonetheless decided to start with virtual meetings online, i.e. gatherings of delegates and selected groups of friars (friars in pastoral care, in formation, and a special group of friars with less than 10 years of perpetual profession); thus bringing more effective honing of the issues and development of the proposals.
We pray to the Lord that the Capuchin Pan-American Meeting be a time of grace and revival for our presence in that immense continent, and that what happens there will serve as well to enlighten the whole order.