29 May 2024

Youth dialogue with the Minister General

On 6 April 2024, members of Fraternitas, the Franciscan youth and young adult ministry, had the privilege of having a conversation with Friar Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor. Also present were friars from the General Definitory, the Order’s governing body.

The dialogue was a bridge between generations. As Friar Massimo said, he aspires to visit the different provinces and custodies, and be touched by the diverse realities of the Order across the globe. The dialogue in Singapore was one of his engagements with the next generation of believers.

In the spirit of synodality, the dialogue provided a platform for the youth to express their hopes, dreams and concerns regarding the Church and its role in their lives. Each question revealed their longing for understanding and spiritual growth. The topics ranged from discernment of God’s will to overseas mission and outreach to finding meaning in suffering with joy. There was a palpable sense of trust and openness as the young people felt embraced by a leadership willing to listen and learn.

Reflecting on the dialogue, Therese Soh, 25, shared, “I was struck by how personable and down to earth the Minister General was.

He answered all our questions in a good-humoured way and was easy-going, attentive, and friendly. I was heartened to hear the Minister General share about how he, as a young person, was inspired to embrace Franciscan spirituality and join the Order. To me, his sharing highlights the importance of formation of the youth, so that they may be nurtured into men and women after God’s heart.”

The dialogue between the youth of Fraternitas and Friar Massimo Fusarelli was a testament to the transformative power of authentic encounter and genuine dialogue within the Church. It was a reminder that by listening and learning from one another, we create space for the Holy Spirit to move in our midst and guide us ever closer to the realisation of God’s kingdom on earth.

Through the dialogue, a vision for the Church as a place where young people can first encounter Christ, have their faith stirred, and build Christ-centred friendships emerged.

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