Letter of the General Minister
Br Roberto Genuin OFM Cap
COVID-9: Urgent Measures
Prot. N. 00209/20
Rome, 21 March 2020
To all Major Superiors
To all the Friars in their Locations
May the Lord give you peace!
Only a few days have passed since I reached out to you as a gesture of unity and support, to inform you of the situation regarding the spread of the epidemic that now involves the whole world, and to specify some measures that needed to be taken.
Today, unfortunately, I must reach out to you again to inform you that we’ve already suffered our first deaths among the friars: one is a friar of the Venetian Province, Br. Giampiero Vignandel, aged 46, who died in Trento where he ministered in particular at a local soup kitchen for the poor; another was Br. Luis Gabriel Carillo, 71 years of the Custody of Ecuador, who died in Madrid where he was attending the course on Franciscanism.
These are rather weighty burdens that have succeeded in catching us almost by surprise, but which call us to return to putting our lives confidently and decisively into the hands of God.
I am asking for a chorus of prayers for these brothers of ours, and for the many brothers who have so far been infected and who have need of our support during this precarious time in their lives. While remaining as united to them as possible in their respective circumscriptions, we also ask the Lord to strengthen their parents and family members, especially those who are particularly tested at this time.
This situation leads me to reiterate firmly – having learned that some major superiors are still believing that they can confirm, despite everything, assembly appointments and meetings – that all of them must be suspended, at least those scheduled until May 2020. In fact, due to the way the situation is developing, it will likely become necessary to postpone scheduled appointments in the following months as well.
We are all together in the mystery of life and death, and in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Fr. Roberto Genuin
General Minister OFMCap