Roberto Genuin 1 April 2020

Letter of the General Minister

Br Roberto Genuin OFM Cap

COVID-19: Prepare ourselves for the forthcoming Paschal Mystery

Prot. N. 00230/20

Rome, 1 April 2020

To all the Major Superiors
To all the Friars in their locations

Dear Brothers,

May the Lord give you peace!

After a few days, I’m writing to you again, so we can all share in simplicity and prayer what we are experiencing now during this “turbulent storm” affecting the entire world.

Here in the General Curia information arrives rather sporadically and sparsely; nonetheless, I want to try to update you regarding the situation of the friars and the Order. At the moment it appears that the circumscriptions most affected by the virus are still the provinces of northern Italy, with a particular prevalence in the number of friars infected in the Veneto Province. Fortunately, it seems that most of them are seeing the critical phase gradually pass, but the hospitalized friars are still many and some are in intensive care struggling to survive.

Some others, on the other hand, have returned to the Father’s house during these days – whether by the Coronavirus itself or by other natural causes aggravated by it, we cannot know for sure! As far as we know, the deceased are four friars in Veneto, one in Emilia Romagna, one in Liguria, one in Austria, one in the Netherlands, three in France, one in Switzerland and one in Spain.

We of the General Curia, who are all well, try to remember them individually in prayer as news of their deaths reaches us. I invite you as well, while certain you’re already doing it, to join us all in this important act of mercy.

Given the virulent spread of the pandemic in a large part of the world, I reiterate my recommendation that everyone follow scrupulously the guidelines designed to protect us and the people of God from the contagion.

Perhaps it’s precisely what we’re experiencing now, in this exact moment in history, that drives us to better prepare ourselves for the forthcoming Paschal Mystery – the mystery of resurrection and of life!

Let us, therefore, always and with a firm heart trust in the divine benevolence.

Fr. Roberto Genuin
General Minister OFMCap