Franciscan Educators Conference and Ibero-american Convention in Brazil

A conference was held in Curitiba (Parana – Brazil) from 30 November to 3 December that brought together friars, religious and laity of the Franciscan family involved in academic education. The meeting was sponsored by the Conference of Friars Minor of Brazil and involved two different realities in a single gathering. They had common moments of reflection in the morning and different times of deepening in the afternoon. On the one hand, it was the first time that educators and representatives of the Brazilian schools of all levels managed by the Franciscan family gathered together and it promoted afternoon sessions for breakout sessions on various topics of Franciscan education. On the other hand, it was the fifth time representatives of a number of universities and university level study centers run by the Franciscans or Franciscan inspiration would meet across America. Most came from Latin America, but this time there was also the presence of a university from the USA. The afternoonswere dedicated to the presentation of different realities. The gathering also questioned the possibility of further involvement of numerous Franciscan universities in the USA and Canada.

During the morning, in plenary session, several distinguished speakers refelcted on the Franciscan style of education, tackling different issues, as well as the memory and identity of Franciscan education with the challenges of post-modernity, outlining the profile of the educator and Franciscan foundations and values

The conference also had the participation of Friar Valmir Ramos, general Definitor for Latin America, who brought the message of the general Minister and Friar Casare Vaiani, general Secretary of formation and studies, who offered a reflection. The organization and the hospitality of the conference was arranged by the FAE Bom Jesus, an organization of the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception of San Paolo. This organization is a network of at least 34 schools in several Brazilian states. The meeting also had cultural moments at the end of each day, including a performance by the famous children’s choir of Canarinhos Petropolis.

Certainly it was an opportunity to experience the vitality and strength of the Franciscan charism, which has a message to bring in the world of school and university education.