Meeting of the CEO Ministers and Formators

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A meeting of the Provincials, Custodes, Delegates, and several Formators of the CEO Conference met from November 20-24, 2008 in Bratislava. It was the first such meeting of Ministers and Formators, and came about through the initiative of the Formators.

The initiative was a great desire of  those responsible for formation, and the final result was realized by this encounter. There was the need to present to the Ministers some observations regarding problems in formation on every level.

The meeting was held at our Friary in Bratislava, where the participants had been invited by the Province of the Immaculate Conception in Slovakia and the past President of CEO, Friar Lucjan Bogucki. There were 22 Friars from the three Polish Provinces, as well as from Russia, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Lithuania. Special guests included Friar Marco Tasca, Minister General, Friar Jacek Ciupiński, Assistant General for CEO, Friar Lindor Alcides Tofful, General Secretary for Formation, and Friar Francisco Nel Luedo Murillo, General Delegate for Justice, Peace, and the Safeguarding of Creation.

The meeting was divided into two groups.
In the first group, the Ministers discussed the actual situations found in the Provinces, Custodies, and Delegations. Information was also given that had come from the meeting of the government of the Order with the Ministers and Formators in Santiago di Compostella. They also discussed the activities and the initiatives going on in the Conference, presenting a plan for collaboration among the jurisdictions of the Conference.

During the meeting, the new President of the CEO was elected, Friar Adam Kalinowski, Provincial of Gdansk. The Ministers also had the opportunity to receive some information on the work of the Secretariat for Justice, Peace, Safeguarding of Creation, Ecumenism, and Interreligious Dialogue, through a presentation by Friar Francisco Nel Luedo Murillo.

In the second group, the Formators, after reviewing the statistics for all of the houses of formation and the reports of the meetings held in Gdansk, Leopoli, and Santiago di Camposella, discussed the most pressing problems in formation.

Having listened to a conference by Friar Lindor Alcides Tofful, in which, based on the research from his doctoral thesis, he spoke about the motives for some who have abandoned Religious Life and Priesthood in our world today.

On Saturday, the Ministers and the Formators met together. They had the opportunity to review the work accomplished in the groups. They discussed some proposals made by the Formators concerning the selection of confessors for the houses of formation, the formation of the Formators, continuing formation and the participation of the Guardians in this endeavor, and the formation of Friars after 10 and 25 years of Solemn Vows.

The meeting concluded with a Eucharist with the parish community, presided over by the Minister General, along with the Provincial of the Friars Minor and a representative of the Capuchins.

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Photo: Friar Jacek Ciupiński