Coming from a business background, a visit from "the big guy" is usually an occasion for worry and CYA. However the General's visit wasn't to yell about how we were doing things wrong, rather he wanted to visit the North American & Pacific Capuchin Conference (NAPCC) novitiate. The collaborative model that we use to bring together novices from different provinces in the US, Canada, and the Pacific is a model that Mauro supports, and wanted not just to see how it was going, but to get our input about the experience.
So rather than coming in and raising hell, we had a nice sit down discussion with the Minister General where he asked about our personal experiences being in novitiate under the NAPCC model.
A great aspect of being a Capuchin is that even our leaders don't take themselves too seriously. While his words were translated from Italian (his second language) into English, you could still feel that Mauro did not want to be treated as "someone above," that he had a good sense of humor and of fraternity, and that while his task of being the Minister General was very serious, he didn't take himself too seriously. This is an aspect of Capuchin life that I am proud to be a part of.
He stayed only for a day, but I did manage to pin him down for a photo op:
Not to be outdone, Br. Erik asked Mauro to take a picture of the two of us.
It's good to be a Capuchin friar!