The conversation currently involves friars of St. Joseph Province in Eastern Canada, Christ the King Province in Western Canada, and members of the Ontario Foundation of the Immaculate Conception Province (USA), who minister in and around Toronto.
In their February 2 letter, Provincial Ministers Marc LeGoanvec (St. Joseph), Dennis Vavrek (Christ the King), and Primo Piscitello (Immaculate Conception) write that following the recent Chapter of Mats, "the friars also appear to be comfortable in moving forward with the process of restructuring the OFM presence in Canada."
They continue, "It is important to note that one of the primary motivations for restructuring the OFM presence in Canada is a desire to revitalize the life and mission of the Friars Minor and to renew our core values which are at the 'heart of the living out of the Gospel life by each and every friar, each and every fraternity, each and every entity.' (Reflections by Friar Michael Perry, OFM, Chapter of Mats, September 22, 2015). Any option chosen for restructuring should therefore facilitate and enable the living out of these essential core values so as to open up and free the brothers to pursue their vocational call to fraternity and ministry."
They further outlined the next steps in their process, "Over the next few months, the Steering Committee will continue to examine how revitalization of the OFM presence in Canada could be achieved through the creation of a union among the existing entities. A Discussion Paper will be prepared to support consultations with the friars during the upcoming months. The Steering Committee will also examine the juridical and canonical documents for each of the entities involved in the restructuring process, and consult with the professionals who have the required legal and canonical expertise. Consultations will also be undertaken with other religious communities that have undergone a restructuring of their organizations so as to garner lessons learned from their respective experiences."
The Provincials concluded their message by strongly encouraging the involvement of all the friars in the process, "We wish to inform you that the process of restructuring continues to move forward, and to encourage you to engage in this process. Please take advantage of every opportunity to participate in the discussion around this initiative; feel free to ask questions and express your views. In the words of our Minister General, 'Believe that the future is in God’s hands and that God is calling and urging us to step out with the same radical trust that Francis of Assisi and the early brothers demonstrated in their lives.' (Reflections by Friar Michael Perry, OFM, Chapter of Mats, September 22, 2015)."