Franciscan School of Formation for Formators in Africa

It had been a wonderful experience in Nairobi, Kenya for two weeks as close to seventy Formators comprised of animators and coordinators (15 Conventuals, 29 OFMs, 28 Capuchins and 2 TORs) from all over Africa attended the second part of the Franciscan School of Formation for Formators in Africa (FSFFA) from 24th June to 6th July 2019 at the St. Joseph Spiritual Centre in Karen-Nairobi. This part of the course, with the theme “Deepening Year”, explored the various dimensions of Franciscan Formation in depth in order to equip the friars in their work of accompanying the friars in formation.

The three General Secretariats of Formation (OFM, OFMCap and OFMConv) coordinated the course and gave various inputs both from them and from other resource persons. In addition to morning classes, group work took place every afternoon, planned in a way that fostered true and genuine discussions among Formators.

Furthermore, from a fraternal perspective, these days in Nairobi have been marked with deep and meaningful interactions among the friars: liturgy, meals, common recreation, as well as the peak fraternal moment of the visit to the slum of Deep Sea – West Land.

Lastly, from the point of view of intercultural formation, to be among friars from different countries, cultures and Franciscan families was useful to deepen an understanding of different perspectives and it has helped dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups. Cultural diversity helped to respect and recognize new knowledge, new language skills and new ways of thinking. Instead of being a limitation, cultural diversity can make a unique and positive contribution in empowering community living.

At the end of the course, the participants greeted each other looking forward to the third and final part of the course next year 2020.