We, the Franciscan Capuchin brothers, greatly cherished the fraternal visit paid to us by the new Archbishop, Mgr Charles Scicluna, on April 17. Many of us friars were present and wholeheartedly welcomed the Archbishop in our quincentenary friary of Floriana.

In his brief address, the Archbishop affirmed that the greatest contribution we Maltese Capuchins can ever give to the Maltese Church and society is by living our charism: fraternity.

Mgr Scicluna praised the work we Capuchins do with those who stand at the periphery of our society, particularly the sick at the hospitals and the inmates of Corradino Correctional Facility.

St Francis worked for unity and reconciliation. Thus, being fraternal means fostering fraternity in society as well as in the Church.

Fr Martin Micallef OFM Cap, the provincial of the Maltese Capuchins, built on Mgr Scicluna’s concise yet profound reflection. He said that all the works of the apostolate we Franciscan Capuchins do are the result of our fraternal living with one another.

He also said that it is through living our evangelical brotherhood that we can be “the salt of the earth ... [and] the light of the world” (Matt 5:13-14), which the Lord Jesus rightly speaks of in the Matthean gospel.

Personally, this encouraging visit by the Archbishop reminded me of what my fellow Capuchin brother, who is now the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Mgr Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap wrote: “Reforming the Church, renewing the Church, begins with our own repentance and conversion, our own humility and willingness to serve – and that’s the really hard work, which is why sometimes so little of it seems to get done.

“But it can be done. St Francis of Assisi showed us how. Now it’s up to us to do something about it.”

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