Dialogue with Culture and Dialogue with Atheists

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A meeting entitled “Dialogue with Culture and Dialogue with Atheists”, was the third meeting “for dialogue” called by the Conventual Franciscan Friars from various parts of the world, animated by the General Delegate of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, Friar Silvestru Bejan, and was held at the Friary in Lourdes, France from November 22-27, 2010. Friars participated from Colombia, Croatia, France, India, Indonesia, Italy Kazakhstan, Malta, Poland, Romania, and Switzerland.
Besides investigating the topic mentioned above, the meeting had the project of analyzing and discussing the five formative resources to be made available during the next year to all the Friars of the Order.
The participating Friars also looked at individual ways of strengthening their work together in this area, and at better ways to instruct ourselves as Conventual Friars. It is a journey that has already begun, that will have difficult phases, but must be pursued, so that, step by step, we can develop a mutual interest and response from our whole Family.
The occasion of the 25th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace, held October 27, 1986, to be celebrated next year, yielded some ideas on how we might celebrate this occasion. At Assisi, Pope John Paul II “consigned the Spirit of Assisi” to the Friars with these words: “It has been given to you Franciscans … to give a response to humanity today.” The participants therefore decided to have an anniversary celebration in their respective Provinces/Custodies following suggestions for prayer put out by CEFID.
Along with this sharing the participants saw the benefit in getting to know the “seven centers” of dialogue around the Order, and the many activities of the various Friars of the Order, and to invite a greater collaboration among their responsibilities.
The fraternal climate at the Friary in Lourdes encouraged the Friars to work with passion and enthusiasm.
In conclusion, the message of this meeting, takes on the following exhortation: Dialogue must become, for the Conventual Franciscan of today, a “way of life”, as a visible sign of God in the world in “the Spirit of Assisi”.