A visit from the Mother Province 1st-8th November 2019
For the first time, in the history of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, the Custody of Blessed Agnellus of Pisa (Great Britain & Ireland) received a fraternal visit from the Definitory of the Mother Province (Our Lady of the Angels, USA). In the governance structure of the Order, a 'definitor' is a solemnly professed friar who has been elected to a position of service - specifically in regard to helping the major superior (i.e. a 'Provincial' in a Province and a 'Custos' in a Custody) in his duty of guiding the fraternal life and mission of the Order, and in the promoting of vocations.
The fraternal visit of our Provincial (Fr. James McCurry OFM Conv.) and of his Definitory was a joyful and grace-filled occasion - the memories of which will remain long in the hearts and minds of the friars. The respective definitories of the Province and of the Custody first gathered in Our Lady of the Visitation friary in Dublin, where they met the friars currently living in Dublin, and also those living and ministering in our Wexford friary. Further trips were made to our friaries in Liverpool, Oxford and Walsingham.
Our Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi, discerned two fundamental Gospel values which we, as Conventual Franciscans, hold as being essential to the life we profess: fraternity (which is a gift from the Lord) and minority (which is understood as conformity to the humble Christ). Throughout the many days that the friars spent together, the wonderfulness of fraternity and the beauty of minority became very clear. As the experience drew to a close, everyone involved was left with a powerful sense of gratitude to God for the blessing of the occasion, and a spirit of thanksgiving towards Our Lady, for the motherly role she played in helping to ensure that this historic moment unfolded in such a lovely way.