Ide e proclamai! – Go and Proclaim! – Id y Anunciad! – Andate e Annunciate!Oficial Photo of YOUFRA International Gathering
The International Council of Secular Franciscan Order (CIOFS), by means of the Franciscan Youth of Brazil, hosted in Minas Gerais, in the city of São João del Rei, during July19th to 22nd the YouFra International Gathering-international gathering of the Franciscan youth. Since World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, the FRANCISCAN YOUTH from around the world promotes into the programming of World Youth Day, a moment to gather young people from YOUFRA from different parts of the world to commemorate, celebrate and share. It was set for the first time, at World Youth Day in Cologne, the experience of making a four-day meeting, in the period pre-wyd (which in the WYD Rio has been called Missionary Week), where it could gather young people from YOUFRA from different countries of the world. Germany's experience was wonderful, it was repeated in Madrid and this year in Brazil.
The gathering happened in the city São João del Rei-Minas Gerais, and was attended by almost 190 young Franciscans of 19 different nationalities: Guinea Bissau, Argentina, El Salvador, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, South Korea, Costa Rica, France, USA, Colombia, Cape Verde, Croatia, Lithuania, Panama, Bolivia, Spain, Mexico and Brazil (in its various States: Pará, Piauí, Paraíba, Sergipe, Bahia, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul). And the presence of CIOFS (International Council of the OFS, which is part of the Franciscan Youth International Committee), National Fraternal Secretariat of the Franciscan Youth of BRAZIL, OFM, OFMCap and OFMConv, religious men and women from TOR (third order Regular), National Minister of OFS and several brothers and sisters from the OFS of Brazil.
This gathering could be considered a great opportunity to strengthen our ties of unity and diversity, and it is necessary to get to know each other much more, we need to meet more. Among the important moments, we had: July 19th - the celebration of the Eucharist that officially opened the Meeting, which took place in the historic church of the Venerable third order of St. Francis, in São João del Rei downtown, with the entrance of the flags of the countries which were present and a replica of the Pilgrim Cross of World Youth Day. On July 20th, at night, in the Church of São Gonçalo, the Lucernarium took place– the celebration of light- where we meditated the mystery of the Risen Christ, whose light breaks the darkness of our darkness and warms and lights for our mission. After the celebration, we had the Festival of Nations, with cultural presentations of various countries present. Other strong moments of mystical, animation and sharing experience permeated the whole gathering.
The FRANCISCAN YOUTH of Brazil is grateful for the prayers and the support received from various Franciscan entities, in particular from several local fraternities of the OFS, which cooperated by sending donations to the Organizing Committee of the gathering. In us, who took part in this moment, celebrating YOUFRA International Gathering, is sure that, as Young Franciscans, we have created bonds of true brotherhood among the many brothers and sisters who came to Brazil, who came to São João del Rei. Geographical barriers were broken, we were together, we shared our charisma and we heard the invitation to reassume our mission: go and announce!