Capuchin friars experience both the challenges and joys of life in community
The M in the acronym OFM Cap. suffix stands for Minor. You can think of OFM as meaning Order of Little Brothers, which is what it roughly translates into from its original Latin. All of the Capuchin friars, as well as our Franciscans brethren, are little brothers. No one of us is greater than any other. As God loves us all equally, so we all love one another equally.
This is evident in our Capuchin formation, where men from all walks of life and from all over the world are formed as Little Brothers, one in the Lord.
Friars from Diverse Backgrounds, United in Purpose
Just take a look at our friars in formation. At our St. Clare Friary in Chicago, young friars from around the world study for Church ministry and at the same time minister with people experiencing poverty to alleviate suffering. The friars residing at St. Clare were born in United States, Iraq, Cameroon, India, the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia. Capuchin Vocation Director Br. M.J. Groark compares St. Clare to a “mini United Nations.” French, Spanish, Arabic and Tamil are among the languages spoken by frairs at St. Clare. But St. Clare is not unique. At St. Bonaventure in Detroit, friars hailing from Vietnam, Ethiopia, India, Belgium and Poland live together in community. German, French, Italian, Dutch and Vietnamese are just some of the plethora of different languages you might hear there.
This diversity of perspectives, languages and ethnicities breaks down barriers. It helps us to see, and be seen, as little brothers and provides greater opportunities for us to learn from one another during our faith journey.
Incontro Panamericano brings Friars Together from Across the Americas
Looking at the wider world, the Capuchin Order of Friars Minor held its first-ever Incontro Panamericano, a meeting of Capuchins from across the Americas. The Incontro was held in São Paolo, Brazil. Our Provincial Minister, Br. Mark Joseph Costello, was in attendance along with members of our Provincial Council. The General Minister, Br. Roberto Genuin and members of the General Council were also there to discuss our Capuchin mission, formation and vocations in the Western Hemisphere. You can read more on the Incontro Panamericano here: https://ofmcap.cc/3Qq8uhx