The seven provinces of Franciscans (OFM) in the United States began a process that seeks to revitalize and reconfigure their Franciscan presence in the country in 2012. The process seeks greater collaboration among the various Franciscan communities, as well as, a potential move towards new structures to effectively convey and revitalize the mission and ministry of the Order in the United States in the years ahead.
The other six OFM Provinces will continue to move forward with the process and have expressed their gratitude to the Immaculate Conception Province for its participation in the process thus far. The Provincial Ministers of the remaining participating provinces have issued the following statement in response:
Statement of the Provincial Ministers Regarding the Departure of Immaculate Conception Province from the Current Process of Revitalization and Restructuring
On the 9th of February 2017, Provincial Minister Robert Campagna (IC) wrote to Provincial Minister Jack Clark Robinson (OLG), as president of the ESC sub-committee on revitalization and restructuring, to inform him of the decision of Immaculate Conception Province to withdraw completely from the process at this time. His letter concluded:
"[F]ollowing a lengthy discussion with my own Provincial Board this past week, we feel it is the more responsible thing to do by withdrawing at this time, rather then (sic) to drag down the proceedings conducted by you and the other Ministers Provincial. We will continue to dialogue as a Province regarding our future, and we most willingly will continue with our plans to host the gathering of Provincial Administrations at our retreat center in Wappingers Falls, New York, as scheduled for August 2017.
As I continue to dialogue with the friars of our Province, if I [am] made aware of a significant shift in their feelings about 'restructuring,' I will make those feelings known to you and the other Provincials.
With gratitude for your understanding of our position, and the direction in which our Province is moving,
I remain....Fraternally, Fr. Robert M. Campagna, O.F.M.
The Provincial Ministers of the other six Provinces wish to express our appreciation for the fraternal candor shown by Fr. Robert and the Provincial Definitorium of Immaculate Conception Province in announcing their withdrawal from the national process of revitalization and restructuring. While we are somewhat saddened by this development, we respect their decision and pray for the best for the Province. We commit ourselves to continue with our efforts to discern together the call of the Holy Spirit for the rest of us.
Kevin Mullen, OFM Jeffrey Scheeler, OFM James Gannon, OFM
Holy Name Province St. John the Baptist Province Assumption BVM Province
William Spencer, OFM David Gaa, OFM Jack Clark Robinson, OFM
Sacred Heart Province St. Barbara Province Our Lady of Guadalupe Province