(This article originally appeared in the April, 2018 issue of News from the NEC)

Early in 2014 the International Council of the OFS (CIOFS) asked all National fraternities to consider “how should an Order like the OFS be managed at all its levels?” As part of a process of reflection, and in preparation for the 2017 General Chapter we studied various proposals set forth in the Instrumentum Laboris and submitted our responses.

This great undertaking has borne fruit. Our leadership at the XV General Chapter approved specific projects for each area of priority – Formation, Fraternal Life, Building a More Fraternal and Evangelical World (JPIC), Leadership, Communications and Finance. Each project has specific goals, and a timeframe. Budgets will soon be developed. The impact of these projects will be significant.

The Conclusive Documents of the General Chapter describe each project in detail. Additionally, these documents include the Minister General’s accompanying letter and the CIOFS Report on the State of the Order. Please read and share these important documents which can be found on this page on our new website.

2017 General Chapter Conclusions:

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From Tibor’s letter, “These documents are the ones that the International Fraternity intends to use as a basis of our work during the next three years. Therefore, it is very important, that each and every sister and brother…has the opportunity to study them. Also, I invite all the councils on each level to study and work on these documents, so that the intentions and decisions of the General Chapter can be implemented.” (Emphasis added.) The NEC agrees that these innovative projects will help to strengthen and renew life in the fraternities on the various levels. Moreover, they will help our Order to meet the expectations of our Church, to “be a great service in the cause of the Kingdom of God in our world today…a model of organic, structural and charismatic unity.” (Message of the Holy Father St. John Paul II to the Secular Franciscan Order, November 2002)