After an adventurous day of travel—our first flight was delayed, causing us to miss our connection in Frankfurt—the General Definitory arrived in Spain on 4 June to begin its meeting with the Iberian Capuchin Conference. The meeting took place in Alcalá, birthplace and burial place of the Franciscan Saint Diego (who, by the way, was an early example of a lay brother who served as guardian of his friary).
The Iberian Capuchin Conference (CIC) includes the five provinces of Spain and the Province of Portugal. The major topic of discussion was the planned merger of four of the five provinces of Spain into a new Spanish province. The provinces have worked very hard at organizing the merger, and their efforts exceeded our expectations. Rather than approaching the process with resignation, they showed great enthusiasm for the project, and see it as a way to revitalize our presence in Spain.
The Province of Catalonia, which is not currently participating in the merger process, is hoping to find new energy by welcoming a few friars from the Province of Sardinia. Eventually, both Catalonia and Portugal may join the new Spanish Province.