In the city of Cumbaya, Quito, Ecuador, in the Retreat House "San Patricio", from the 25th through the 29th of May 2016, the "Ninth Latin American Congress OFS-YouFra " has taken place. From the CIOFS Presidency there were present Tibor Kauser, SFO Minister General, ChelitoNuñez, Vice-Minister general OFS, Andrea Odak, Councillor for YouFra, Silvia Diana and Ana Maria Rafo Laos, the Spanish and Portuguese area councilors, Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR, General Assistant SFO-YouFra and Fr. Martin Bitzer, OFMConv, General Assistant OFS-YouFra.
The event was organized by the OFS National Council of Ecuador with the collaboration of the OFS Presidency with the participation of 17 national fraternities of the OFS and YouFra in Latin America. The theme of the Congress was: "Secular Franciscans, a family of Christian values in America”. The program included moments of prayer (Mass, Morning and Evening Prayers, Eucharistic and Adoration), formation and fraternal sharing. The nine working groups formed during the Congress, deepened the different themes presented: 1. The task of evangelizing that the Secular Franciscans have in America; 2. Current situation of the family in the American Continent: response of the Secular Franciscans; 3. Sense of Belonging to the OFS in the Church and its mission; 4. Work of the International Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation; 5. Co-responsibility and integration of members of the OFS and Franciscan Youth in America. The members of the CIOFS Presidency have coordinated and animated the three workshops dealing with: 1. Guide and animation of the OFS; 2. The Franciscan Youth and the family in Latin America; 3. The spiritual assistance of the local fraternity. The opening Mass (Wednesday 25th May) was presided by Fr. Amando, president of the Conference of Spiritual General Assistants, while the closing Mass (Sunday 29 May) was presided by Fr. Martin Bitzer, OFMConv. The afternoon and evening of Friday, May 27th was dedicated to a trip to the "Middle of the World", the historic center of Quito and the Convent of St. Francis, where the participants were welcomed with dances and songs typical of Ecuador and a dinner offered by the national Council and by the Friars OFM . the next Congress will be held in Guatemala in the second semester of 2019. For more information, you can consult the web page http://congresolatinoofsjufra.blogspot.com