The Custos of the Holy Land, fr. Francesco Patton, visited Colombia from 1st to 4th June, on the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Commissariat of the Holy Land in Colombia.
A seminar was held at St Bonaventure’s University in Bogota on Thursday 1st June with the participation of the Custos and of the Commissary of the Holy Land in Colombia, fr. José Manuel Ortega. The event, for friars and the Franciscan family, was the opportunity to show the reality of the work of the Franciscans in the Holy Places and go into further depth into the history of the foundation of the Commissariat of the Holy Land in Colombia.
The next day, fr. Patton and fr. José Manuel attended a meeting with the young people of the University Pastoral, organized at La Gran Colombia University. The dialogue was on the Holy Places, vocation to service, and the testimony of the Christians in the Holy Land.
The Commissariat of the Holy Land in Colombia was founded on 3rd June 1623. On the same day this year, Mons. Luis José Rueda Aparicio, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bogota, presided the Solemn Mass for the 400th anniversary of the presence of the Commissariat of the Holy Land in Colombia. His concelebrants were Mons. Francisco Nieto Súa, Bishop of Engativá, the Custos of the Holy Land, fr. Silvio De La Fuente, coordinator of the Commissaries of the Holy Land, and fr. José Alirio Urbina, Provincial Minister of the Province of Santa Fe.
During his visit, the Custos appeared in a number of television programmes, illustrating the tasks of the Custody of the Holy Land and what it means to be custodians of the Holy Places, inviting viewers to stay informed about the Holy Land through the media of the Custody and the Commissariat, and to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After his visit in Colombia, the Custos travelled to Argentina for a private visit to the local Franciscan community.
Fr. Jorge Luis Torregroza Rojas