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Foundation OFM in Russia and Kazakhstan

20 Friars from seven countries, who make up the Foundation of Russia and Kazakhstan, met in Italy to celebrate their Chapter. The Foundation has four Fraternities in this immense territory: St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Ussurisk in Russia and Almaty in Kazakhstan. The Friars, after a stay in Rome and a pilgrimage to Assisi, gathered on the sacred mountain of La Verna, received by Br. Sime Samac, Definitor General, and the local Fraternity. The group lived two intense days of retreat, 27th and 28th January, during which they were joined by Br. Vadim Bielokorytov, a Kazak novice of the Foundation.

On the evening of the 28th, the Friars met the Minister General, Br. Josè Rodríguez Carballo, who described the journey the Order will make during the coming years on the occasion of the celebration of the VIII Centenary of its foundation. The Minister General officially opened the Chapter of the Foundation in Russia and Kazakhstan on the 29th January, addressing a greeting to Br. Astijus Kungys, Visitator General and President of the Chapter, and embraced all the Friars. Some Definitors and Br. Vincenzo Brocanelli, Moderator General for the Missions were also present. Br. Carballo thanked the Friars for their presence in Russia and Kazakhstan, exhorting them to fidelity to the Priorities which the Order has for this six-year period. At the end, the Definitor General Br. Sime Samac read the decree of appointment of the President and Council of the Foundation which is made up of: Br. James Edmiston, President, Br. Gracijan Piotrowski, Br. Guido Trezzani and Br. Dominik Kim, Councillors. When the Minister General left, the work of the Chapter continued under the guidance of Br. Astijus until the evening of 2nd February. During the sessions of the Chapter, various important points for the life of the Foundation and Fraternities were examined.
The Chapter concluded with an Eucharistic celebration presided by the Definitor General, Br. Sime Samac, who exhorted all to be bearers of hope for present-day men. During the celebration, each Friar renewed his religious profession.