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Samobor, Croatia

August 17-23, 2014






The participants of the Second International Assembly of the Franciscan Youth, representing 24 countries from all over the world, gathered on August 17-23, 2014, in the House of Tabor at Samobor (Croatia), to celebrate fraternity in a profound way. We were nourished by the Eucharist and the Word of God and enriched by interactions among ourselves.


We spent a substantial amount of time working together and listening to one another. During these days together:

-          We reviewed the Conclusions of the First YouFra International Assembly held in Barcelona (Spain) in 2007, and talked about the way the Conclusions were applied in our national fraternities;

-          We had formation on the “Theology of the Body” to implement the Conclusions of the OFS General Chapter in 2011, held in Brazil. The catechesis of St. John Paul II invites us to rediscover the beauty of sexuality, marriage and family, and the living out of these gifts according to God’s plan;

-          We reflected on the main theme of the Assembly “Proclaiming Christ by our Life and Words” and shared among ourselves the joy and challenges of living the gospel;

-          We shared our lived experiences of YouFra in our respective countries, as well as the experiences of the International Coordination Team, as they carried out their service at the international level.


During this Second International Assembly, we also:

-          approved the proposal of the document on Celebrations in the Franciscan Youth, whose purpose is to unify the celebrations of admission, promise, and elections in YouFra fraternities, which will help to differentiate us from other youth groups;

-          reflected on the local fraternity as a community of love, where we can live in the present moment with our brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God. In this reality, all are called to serve through animation and guidance. Animation in the Franciscan spirit means to give life, soul, value, energy, strength and spirit. Guidance means to lead the fraternity towards a specific objective, pointing out the signs along the way. This service to our brothers and sisters should be that of carrying the burdens of one another, of good example, of dialogue, of trust and esteem, of confidence; a service of sincerity and loyalty. In the spirit of this reflection, we elected the International Councilors of YouFra for the period 2014-2017, with their substitutes, attentive to the above mentioned qualities.



Councillor = Jenifer Josephine Christla (India)

Substitute = Arlene Tilos Naya (Philippines)

Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean

Councillor = José Carlos Mancinas Casas (Mexico)

Substitute = Judith del Rocio Vidales Tinajera (Mexico)

South America

Councillor = Marcos Ezequiel Villagra (Argentina)

Substitute = Shirley Liz Ramirez Leon (Paraguay)

Central and East Europe

Councillor = Joanna Sochor (Poland)

Substitute = Božica Ivanković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Western Europe and North America

Councillor = Ghislain Knepper (France)

Substitute = Katia Dâmaso (Portugal)


Councillor = Michat Legrand-Raout (Mauritius)


-          voted on the priorities of the Franciscan Youth for the next three years as follows:




1.1.   Communication between the YouFra International Coordination Team and the international delegates, and between national fraternities within the same geographical area shall be strengthened through regular contact and updating.

1.2.   Taking advantage of the modern means of communication in its various forms, the International Councilors shall consider the possibility of holding quarterly on-line meetings with the international delegates of his/her area.

1.3.   The web page to which all national fraternities shall contribute timely news, events and national projects, shall be both formative and informative with the possibility of including interactive materials. This web page can be accessed at

1.4.   The Franciscan Youth shall advocate responsible use of the social media, using it with vigilance and discernment in the light of our Christian faith and our Franciscan charism so as to effectively bring Christ to the world, especially the young.




2.1.   The articles on the “Theology of the Body” published on the CIOFS website shall be accessed by YouFra members for study and reflections so that they may see sexuality, love and marriage through the eyes of Christ.

2.2.   To respond to the call for missionary discipleship, the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of Gospel) shall be used as formation materials by the Franciscan Youth so that they may be “… joyful witnesses of Christ’s love, courageous witnesses of His Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of His light.”




3.1.   To grow in their relationship with one another and to encourage mutual help, nearby national fraternities shall organize joint meetings and activities, when possible, welcoming every opportunity to enrich one another.

3.2.   Monthly intentions shall be offered to connect different national fraternities in prayer and to provide a way to be in solidarity with those who have special needs and difficulties.




4.1.   While the OFS considers itself to be particularly responsible for the Franciscan Youth, YouFra on the other hand, shall do its part in strengthening its relationship with the OFS and the broader Franciscan Family by participating in joint celebrations and common projects and by taking new initiatives.

4.2.   The topic on Fraternal Animation and Spiritual Assistance shall continue to occupy an important place in formation. Therefore, it is recommended that this topic be included in the program at all levels and for all of those involved in the formation of YouFra, especially in the program of national and international congresses.




5.1.   As an expression of co-responsibility and to instill generosity and trust in Divine Providence, as in the example of the widow’s mite in the gospel, each national fraternity shall find a way to contribute financially to the international level according to their means in the spirit of communion of goods.




6.1.   To foster a sense of belonging and strengthen the sense of identity of the Franciscan Youth as an international fraternity, the International Coordination Team shall pursue the proposal to have a Youfra hymn and logo.



In addition to working on these important topics concerning Franciscan Youth, during the Assembly in Croatia we felt the close and loving accompaniment of the CIOFS Presidency. We were overwhelmed by the awesome beauty of Plitvice Lakes, which made our hearts sing the Canticle of Creation of our father St. Francis. The overflowing generosity of the OFS, YouFra, Spiritual Assistants, and the broader Franciscan Family of Croatia gave us a powerful testimony of the meaning of service and fraternity in the purest sense. Among ourselves, we experienced deep fraternal communion; we felt the love of those who served us, the prayers and support of those who cared for us – those absent and those present. We also remember those who made it possible for some of us to attend by their financial assistance.


All of this filled our hearts with a profound sense of gratitude and gave us the courage to continue the joyful journey of proclaiming the gospel with our life and words, following the example of St. Francis and St. Louis, King of France, whose 800th anniversary of his birth we celebrate this year.



To you, O God,

most holy, all good, supreme good,

You who alone are good,

may we give you all praise, all glory, all thanks, all honor:

all blessings and all good things.


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