Alongside the General Minister and his Definitory, the Constitutions of the Order provide for a "General Secretary for the Missions". His job is to "further our missionary presence in the world and to develop a more profound and authentic missionary awareness among ourselves". (III PCO, Mattli 1978, 42).
The “Mission Secretary” fulfils a prophetic role in the Fraternity, which, with all its commitments and challenges, must never forget its primary vocation to witness to a genuine life in Christ. A large part of his time is spent serving the Order as “Promoter of Solidarity”. In this capacity he works to foster economic equality in the Order, making possible the work of the friars – formation, missionary activity, evangelisation and social development - in countries that are poor in financial resources. The Order stresses that solidarity with the friars is aimed at building international structures of justice for everyone. “To be in solidarity means taking care of each brother or sister, especially of those who are excluded from sharing in the benefits of society. Listening to the cry of the poor we must work to ensure that global solidarity becomes a new social order”. (VI PCO, Assisi 1998, 22).
The "Promoter of Solidarity is first and foremost a “Promoter of evangelisation”. This is why the promotion of solidarity is always connected to other fundamental aspects recalled in the Capuchin Constitutions:
• Solidarity lived with the poor (Const .59,5; 60, 4-5)
• solidarity of personnel (Const. 176)
• solidarity with the friars (Const. 131,4)
• inculturation of the Gospel (Cost .177,3)
• interreligious dialogue (Const. 175,4)
Br. Helmut Rakowski, General secretary for missionary animation