Annual meeting of IFC

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The annual meeting of the International Formation Commission (IFC) was held in the USA at Ellicott City, MD (9-17 December) and Chicago, Il (17-19 December).  This venue was chosen several months ago when Fr. Daniel Pietrzak, the former   General Secretary for Formation, was still with us. 

It was his wish to be present at the Commission meeting and thus proposed the USA as the venue.  While that wish was not able to be realized in a material way his spiritual presence among the members of the commission was certainly felt.

The Commission is made up of 17 friars:  the General Secretary for formation as president and the members of the general secretariat, by one formator from each of the conferences/federations and representatives from the principle centers of study of the Order.

Members of the Commission presented a panorama of the situation of formation in the various conferences and federations.  This was followed by the examination of certain documents which are useful in provoking a reflection on some fundamental elements regarding on-going formation in the Order.  Also discussed were a few questions tied to the general assembly that will take place in Buenos Aires in 2010.  Furthermore, a draft proposal for a Six Year Programme of Formation for the Order was considered and, in the same line, a discussion on a new section of Franciscan Discipleship dealing with On-going Formation which was mandated by the General Chapter 2007.  Finally the Commission looked at some possible methodologies that could be used in the eventual completion of the Order's Ratio Studiorum.

The members of the Commission were very well received among the friars of  the communities of Saint Anthony of Padua Province and Saint Bonaventure Province  in which the meetings took place.  During the course of the meetings there was also the possibility to visit our student-friars in formation houses in Washington and Chicago.  Visits to the cities of Baltimore, Washington and Chicago also offered the possibility for some welcome rest inbetween the sessions.

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