International Formation and Studies Council returns

“Yesterday, we opened the meeting with a greeting from the Vicar General, Br Ignacio Ceja, who also conveyed greetings from the Minister General and encouraged us in our work”. This was said by Brother Darko Tepert, Secretary General for Formation and Studies of the Order, on the side-lines of the meeting of the International Council for Formation and Studies, which takes place in Rome from 21 to 24 June 2022. “The Vicar pointed out that the last General Chapter gave several tasks to the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies and invited the International Council to offer help in this regard to the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies”.

Today, the second day of the meeting, as we read in the programme, the councillors devoted themselves to the theme of Franciscan identity. Br Darko explained: “The question of our identity was very present at the last General Chapter, and we saw that there are many concerns throughout the Order in this regard. As the General Chapter says in the final document, we must work hard to start again with our commitment to be truly lesser brothers.

In addition to the Franciscan identity discussed today, the participants have on the agenda for the next few days the preparation of two conferences: one of the Franciscan study centres (to be held next year) and the other of the lay brothers, planned for 2024, which will be at the level of the OFM conferences. Also on the table are topics such as safeguarding minors and vulnerable people, evangelisation and the offices of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

Apart from the organisers – Br Darko Tepert, General Secretary, and Br Hieronimus Yosep Dey Rupa, Vice Secretary -, representing the Secretariats of the OFM Conferences, the following Secretaries are taking part in this meeting: Br Samuel Ceglowski for the North Slavic Conference, Br Antonino Milazzo for the Custody of the Holy Land, Br Bruno Peixoto for Confres, Br Charles Bernard for the SAAOC Conference, Br Danijel Nikolić for the South Slavic Conference, Br Elton Viagedor for the EAC Conference, Br Fernando Ferrario for Conocla, Br Danijel Nikolić for the South Slavic Conference, Br David Pool Paredes for the Guadalupana Conference, Br Elton Viagedor for the EAC Conference, Br Fernando Ferrario for the Brazilian and Cono Sur, Br Larry Hayes for the ESC Conference, Br Marco Huatay Flores for the Bolivarian Conference, Br Milko Gigante for COMPI, Br Solomon Sekabata Mphela for the African Conference and Br Thomas Abrell for COTAF.