9th Continuing Formation Course for FALC

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The 9th Continuing Education Course organized for FALC was held from August 31 – October 1, 2008, based at Rivotorto Friary, Assisi, Italy. Nineteen Friars took part from twelve different countries around Latin America and Spain.

The scope of the course was to offer theoretical, practical, and experiential elements that would renew and revitalize their vocations as Conventual Franciscan Friars.

Coordinating the project fell upon the backs of Friar Lindor Alcides Tófful, from the Province of Rioplatense (Argentina/Uruguay), and presently the Secretary General for Formation in the Order, Friar Roberto Carboni from the Cuban Delegation and FALC representative on the International Formation Commission (IFC), and Friar Omar Pividori, also from the Province of Rioplatense.

The program included visits to several important places in Rome and the Vatican: the Pauline and Petrine places, including participation in an Papal Audience, a visit to the catacombs of St. Callistus, the principal General Houses of the Order in Rome, and many other places of tourist and religious interest.

The course itself was held at Rivotoro with specific content and the participation of Friars from our Order sharing elements of anthropology, spirituality, Franciscan history, and other themes with reference to our identity. They also addressed Franciscan formation and mission. The visits to the Franciscan places in Assisi and surroundings were especially enhanced by the knowledge of the places provided by Friar Guillermo Spirito and Friar Valentín Redondo. The final week was spent visiting, and getting to know, the other places significant to our Order: la Verna, Cortona, Padua (Camposanpiero, l’Arcella, il Santo), Venice, Osimo, Loreto, the Rieti Valley (Grecco, Fonte Colombo, Poggio Bustone), etc.

A particularly significant moment, on the personal level, as well as for the group, was their time at the tomb of St. Francis, where they were able to celebrate the Eucharist, and to confide in their brother Francis, the secrets of their hearts. Celebrating October 4th, visiting the Basilica and the Sacred Convent, sharing experiences with the brothers there, were all once in a lifetime opportunities for those Friars coming to Assisi for the first time.

The participants are grateful to the Minister General, Friar Marco Tasca, who came and shared with the group in a special way, along with all the Friars of the Friary of Rivotorto, who paid fraternal attention to the Friars and met the needs of every situation. Many thanks!

Friar Lindor Alcides Tófful, OFM Conv.
Secretary General for Formation