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Christmas Letter of Minister provincial

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Without Jesus we can do nothing, this is why the Word was made flesh

and dwells among us.

 

Dear Brothers,

 

During this time of preparation for Christmas, I was using the meditation s of Enzo Bianchi, abbot of a monastic community in the North of Italy.  As I read I was deeply touched by these words which I now share with you.

“Because we participate in the mission of Jesus, Son of the Father, we must never forget the words that Jesus said: ‘without me you can do nothing’ (Jo. 15:5)” ...this is why the Word was made flesh and dwells among us.

We carry out our ministry alone with Jesus, under His full and sovereign initiative.  But our capabilities are not enough for being "sent" by Jesus, as he is sent by the Father (cf. Jon 13:20): it is imperative therefore that we live with him (cf. Mk 3 14). Without Jesus we can do nothing, this is why the Word was made flesh and dwells among us.

We have nothing of our own to bring to others. We are nothing without the Lord, who works in us and through us.  We cannot do anything but in obedience and communion with the Son... who of “Himself, can do nothing but what he sees the Father doing "(Jo. 5:19).

St. Paul at Ephesus said: “I commend you to God and to that gracious Word of his”. (Act.20, 32) In this expression of St. Paul he does not entrust the Word to us, but he entrusts us to the Word. Before the Word is assigned to us, we ourselves are assigned to the Word.

Before being bearers of the Word of God, we ourselves are carried by the Word of God ...this is why the Word was made flesh and dwells among us.

In this Year of Faith, the term "Entrusted to the Word," acquires a lot of sense because we put our faith in the Word of God and not in ourselves or in other realities. Every morning, as true servants of the Lord, we need to listen carefully as disciples of the Word: "Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear, and I have not rebelled, have not turned back (Is 50:4).

This Christmas may the Word made flesh dwell in you (cf. Jo. 15,7), and may he be implanted in you (cf. Jon 1,21)

May you be able to say as Jesus said: I do know him and I keep his word (Jon 8,55)

“And now I commend you to God and to that gracious Word of his that can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated” (Act.20,32)

Merry Christmas

Bro. Carmelo Giannone

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The November issue of the “Bulletin”

the Formation Congress for the OFM African ConferenceDear Brothers,

Due to the prolonged illness of our Br. Carmelo Giannone and his absence from the Province since the end of August this year, the November issue of the “Bulletin” was not published, as you have surely noticed. Instead of that I would like to share with you some news that, honestly speaking, might not be anymore news for you.

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The presentation

presentationOn Tuesday, July 14, 2009, three reports were presented during the morning session: Missionary Evangelization (Br. Aloys Hakizimana); Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (Br. Joseph Ehrhardt); Secular Franciscan Order and Franciscan Youth (Br. Krisnah Ramsamy). Lively discussions in small groups followed the presentations. The outcome of the discussions was later shared in the assembly hall. In the afternoon, the Provincial Bursar, Br. Augustinus Wehrmeier, presented his report to the Chapter. The report was well prepared by him and well received by the Capitulars. The reaction to the report was the usual one – it sparked a lively and emotional discussion, held however in a peaceful and fraternal spirit. Many good ideas and proposals were shared by the Capitulars that were meant to help improve the financial situation of the Province. It is not easy to create a common financial policy and to have common projects in a province made up of 9 countries.

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The 9th Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Francis

the 9th provincial chapterOn Sunday afternoon, July 12, 2009, thirty-six Friars – Capitulars - gathered at the Dimesse Sisters Retreat Centre in Karen, Nairobi, to celebrate the 9th Provincial Chapter. The theme of the Chapter is “A Step Forward towards the Grace of our Origins.” The Capitulars begun the celebration by praying the Evening Prayer, presided over by the Minister Provincial, Br. Sebastian Unsner. After supper, they met in the main hall to officially open the Chapter.

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Preachers in our contemporary time

Some days ago, during my studies, I encountered with a lot of articles regarding the preaching of nowadays. Among  many others,  I saw the readings taken from the book He is not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World where the author Mohler calls up on each preacher to be faithful to the biblical text by preaching only the key message, which alone can save the Church.

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