Jerusalem, 30th January – 4th February 2012
The 3rd International Conference of the Commissaries of the Holy Land will be held in Jerusalem from Monday 30th January to Saturday 4th February. This is a major event which follows in the line of the periodic meetings when the Commissaries are invited to share and exchange ideas with mutual updating, according to the legislation of the Custody. The Commissaries are precious figures and could be defined the “ambassadors” of the Custody of the Holy Land. They operate as “bridges” between the Holy Land and the territories assigned to them, i.e. the different Provinces they belong to. Therefore they are the representatives of the Custody in the world and work constantly to support and help it in its mission on multiple aspects: making the Holy Land known and loved, through promotion in the territory; organizing and animating pilgrimages; collecting economic help and monitoring vocations oriented towards the Holy Land.
The International Conferences are eagerly awaited and carefully prepared appointments, which are announced, on the decision of the Discretorium, every 6 years and which have the important task of bringing together the Custody and the Commissariats, developing and reinforcing the dialogue between the different parties and meeting their respective expectations. A few months ago, with the precise aim of intensifying these relations, and on the explicit request and recommendation of the previous International Conference of the Commissaries held in 2006, the Custodial Office for the Coordination of the Commissariats of the Holy Land was established. This is a completely new competence in the history of the Custody and has come into being to help the Custody’s ruling body in relations with the Commissariats and in their animation, with one of its main tasks being precisely to organize the periodic International Congresses.
In the respect of the international nature that is a historical characteristic of the Custody of the Holy Land, the forthcoming Conference of the Commissaries will be attended by about 110 participants from all over the world, including the Minister General of the Order, Brother José Rodriguez Carballo, who will be present throughout the meeting, and the General Curia, the Economic Commission, the Custodial Curia, the Deputy Commissaries, experts, collaborators, translators, secretaries, photographers and journalists. It is a variegated and complex group, with representatives of widely differing Franciscan realities by language, culture and traditions, but united by their common commitment to the service of the Holy Land.
The programme of work of the Conference, divided into 21 work sessions, aims to identify, communicate and share the opportune strategies of action with regard to some urgent problems concerning the Custody and the Commissaries. The subjects to be studied in depth include some main topics, for which there will be contributions by experts who will conclude with at least three questions, indicating the directions of work for the linguistic groups that will follow and who will report their summaries to the plenary meeting for discussion, and other secondary topics, discussed with brief contributions aimed at informing the Conference on some sectors of the life of the Custody.
The languages for the Conference are Italian, English and Spanish. The three main topics which will be brought to the attention of the Commissaries at this International Conference are: