8th International Youth Toward Assisi Meeting

8th International Youth Toward Assisi Meeting (Giovani Verso)
August 12-19, 2018
Made to Shine: The beauty of holiness (Itinerary)

Franciscan Friars Conventual and Young Adults from all over the world traveled to Italy to gather for the 8th International Youth Toward Assisi Meeting. There they have been visiting holy places of Assisi and Rome, living an experience of faith and rediscover the beauty of holiness.
Our Lady of the Angels Province friars: Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. (JPIC Province Chairman) and Friar Chris Dudek, OFM Conv. (Deacon at one of our Baltimore, MD pastorates as well as Campus Minister and Instructor at our Archbishop Curley High School) led a group of young adults from the USA, Columbia & Mexico.
For photos and more information on the 8th International Meeting Giovani verso Assisi,
please visit their Facebook Page

Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. has been preparing with the other friar organizers from around the world to make this week a success. Pictured here is a sampling of those friars (Friar Michael with his hand raised) during the first meeting held January 24-27, 2017 at Rome’s Pontificia Facoltà Teologica San Bonaventura, known as the Seraphicum.

The pilgrims have been in Assisi since Sunday ~ camping, eating, learning, praying and celebrating together. They have already visited the Basilica Papale di San Francesco d’Assisi, the Sacro Convento, the Eremo delle Carceri, the Cattedrale di San Rufino, the Sanctuary of the Spoliazione (Renunciation or Stripping) of St. Francis, the Santuario di Rivotorto, and the Basilica di S. Maria degli Angeli surrounding the Porziuncola (Portiuncula). Over the next days they will visit the Basilica of Santa Chiara which houses the original Crucifix of San Damiano before heading to Rome to visit, and camp at, the Seraphicum. While there, they will have the opportunity to spend time evangelizating with the friars in the squares of Rome and spend their last day visiting the home of our Order’s Curia – the Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli. That last day will included Mass celebrated by our Minister General, the Most Reverend Fr. Marco Tasca, OFM Conv., followed by a journey to Saint Peter’s Square for the Noon Prayer of the Angulus with Pope Francis.

Here is a sample day’s itinerary:
Wednesday 15 August 2018 (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
7:30- 8:30: Breakfast at campground
9:00- 10:00: Lectio Divina of Acts 8: 26-40
Pilgrimage to Rivotorto
12:00: Mass at Rivotorto
13:30: Lunch at Rivotorto
15:00: Pilgrimage to Saint Mary of the Angels with recitation of the rosary
16:00: Visit to the Porziuncola with time planned according to the national groups
20:00: Supper at campground
Free prayer after dinner (exposition of the blessed sacrament until 24:00)

Friar Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. celebrated Mass at Rivotorto.

Our Lady of the Angels Province’s Friar Chris Dudek, OFM Conv. was also among the pilgrim friars and was able to serve during the Mass at Rivotorto. If you look to the very center of this photo, you will see housed within the Sanctuary of Rivotorto, the small stone Sacro Tugurio (Sacred Hull/Hollow), home to St. Francis and his first followers (in 1208) prior to their move to the Portiuncula (in 1212). This Sanctuary is the first friary of our Order and is considered the cradle of the Franciscan Fraternity.


Our Minister Provincial, the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. and several of the other friars participating in the 201st Extraordinary General Chapter were able to spend some time with the pilgrims of Giovani Verso. Friar James shared a few of his own photos with us:

Friar Michael speaking to a joyful group of pilgrims

Friar Michael (left) and Friar Chris (2nd from left – vested to serve as Deacon) stopped to take a photo with some more friars from our Province, including The Very Reverend Fr. Michael Zielke, OFM Conv. (currently serving as Minister Provincial for the St. Bonaventure Province), Friar Vincent Rubino, OFM Conv. and our own Minister Provincial, Friar James.

Friar James joined the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square

Event Article on our Order’s Website

September 10, 2018: Follow up comments from Friar Michael
Giovani verso Assisi 2018 had 400 young adults and friars participating in the week-long event last month. For the first time we coordinated a single group from all of the Americas.  Our successful effort included representation from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States. From the United States we also had two participants who are graduates from Duke University as well as one graduate from UNC Chapel Hill, who is also a parishioner at Newman.”

Video Presentation Created by Friar Michael, using a song from Juanas called Bandera de Maños, emphasizing our countries uniting under one flag of many hands making a better world for all.

Lyrics with English Translation:

Hagamos todos
Una bandera con manos negras,
Una bandera con manos blancas
Por un mundo mejor.

(English Translation) Let us all make
A flag with black hands,
A flag with white hands,
For a better world.

En este momento, hagamos todos
Una bandera con manos mestizas,
Una bandera con manos inmigrantes
Por un mundo mejor.

(English Translation) At this moment, let us all make
A flag with mestizo hands,
A flag with immigrant hands
For a better world.

Ya que estamos cansados
De tantas historias vencidas,
Tantas promesas nunca cumplidas,
Alcemos el alma y la voz.

(English Translation) We are tired already
Of so many old expired stories,
So many promises never fulfilled,
Let us raise our spirits and our voice.

Y hagamos el amor
Como una manifestación
Que la guerra no da explicación
A seguir así, quemando la piel…

(English Translation) And let us make love
Like a manifestation
That war cannot explain [*alt. Because war does not offer an explanation]
Continuing like this, burning skin…

…De tus manos, que son las manos mías,
De tu alma, que es como el alma mía,
Que ironías, las que nos da la vida.

(English Translation) …Of your hands, which are also my hands,
Of your soul, which is like my soul,
What ironies that life gives us.

Mientras miles se mueren de hambre
Los lideres compran arsenales
Y asi, siembran dolor.

(English Translation) While thousands die from hunger
The leaders buy arsenals
And like that, they sow pain.

Hagamos todos una sola bandera, todos.
Derribemos fronteras, todos…
Por un mundo mejor.

(English Translation) Let us all make a single flag, everyone.
Let us tear down borders, everyone…
For a better world.

En este momento sembremos paz,
Más justicia, más dignidad,
Libertad con más igualdad…
Por un mundo mejor.

(English Translation) At this time let us sow peace,
More justice, more dignity,
Liberty with more equality
For a better world.

Translation Note: Latin America’s population has a mix of African, European and Indigenous ancestors. The term mestizo/mestiza refers to a person with mixed indigenous Latin American and European ancestry.

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