Meeting of the International Commission for Formation – ICF

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The members of the International Commission for Formation met for the third time from October 18-23, 2010, at the Seraphicum in Rome. The members present were the following:

Friar Lindor Alcides Tofful, Secretary General for Formation
Friar Roberto Brandinelli, Vice-Secretary General for Formation
Friar Augustine Mulenga, Representative of AFCOF
Friar Andrej Šegula, Representative of CEC
Friar Tomas Lesnak, Representative of CEO
Friar Thomas Reist, Representative of CFC
Friar Giuseppe Casarin, Representative of CIMP
Friar Dennis Vargas, Representative of FAAMC
Friar Roberto Carboni, Representative of FALC
Friar Domenico Paoletti, President of Pontifical Faculty of “St. Bonaventure”
Friar Anselmo Bonfigli, Rector of International College “Seraphicum”
Friar Marcelo J. M. Veronez, for the Centre of Study - Brazil
Friar Louis Panthiruvelil, for the Centre of Study – Aluva, India;
Friar Michał Baranowski, for the Centre of Study – Łodz, Poland;
Friar Adrian Sorin Giurgi, for the Centre of Study – Roman, Romania.

The Minister General, his Vicar and the Secretary General were present at different times throughout the meeting of the Commission (ICF). The agenda was highly enriching and engaged in a reflection on the Ratio Studiorum of the Order prepared in draft form by the General Secretariat for Formation. The second day, the Commission discussed the issues regarding  continuing formation, recalling the discussions and sharing of the Fraternal General Assembly in Argentina (January, 2010) on the same theme. Among these, the Commission discussed the formation of guardians, Conventual chapter as moments of ongoing formation of the friars, and tried to bring out some suggestions to help the Ministers/Custodians. In the afternoon of Tuesday, October 19, and the morning of Wednesday the 20th, the Commission talked about interculturation and solidarity, which may be also one of the guiding themes of the Congress in Nairobi (July, 2011). On Thursday, the members were occupied with the subject of the Revision of the Constitutions with particular attention to the chapter on Formation, which was coordinated by Fr. Fermino Giacometti. The discussion focused on a possible schema for the chapter dedicated to Formation in the revised text of the Constitutions.  On Friday, October 22, there was a discussion of Franciscan Discipleship and work on a draft relating to continuing formation which may eventually be inserted into the present text. There were several proposals drawn from the members for the modification of the draft that the General Secretariat for Formation may integrate as soon as possible. Furthermore, there were also discussions on the important matters that the Order faces these days like dropouts, affective/sexual formation, and problems related to the use of mass media. On Saturday, in the presence of Secretary General, the members had discussed the purpose, responsibilities and the criteria of the Commission itself.

The days of meeting were busy with sharing, discussion on different matters of Formation within the Order, and the active interchange of the members. Each day began with a Eucharistic celebration and were enriched by liturgical prayers and moments of fraternity, among which there was an an outing to Bagnoregio, the birthplace of St. Bonaventure, and Orvieto.