Meeting of the Provinces of “Cono Sur”

The three southernmost OFM Provinces of Latin America (two in Argentina and one in Chile) make up the “Cono Sur” Conference. The Definitories and Formation Councils from each of the Provinces met from April 4th to 8th, 2016, in San Rafael (Argentina) in order to work on their decision to set up an interprovincial novitiate. The meeting was also attended by friars who will be part of the planned novitiate fraternity, in addition to the General Secretary for Formation and Studies, Br Cesare Vaiani, who shared his insights on the challenges of Formation today, and on the importance of Provinces working together. Against the background of this wider picture, the group then went on to study and amend the Ratio Formationis and the Statutes of the proposed novitiate. They made good use of the contributions of the Provincial Secretaries of Formation and the Secretary General, who proposed revising these documents in the light of the Ratio Formationis of the Order. The working relationship during the meeting was very fraternal, and so it was possible to speak openly and frankly regarding any aspect of their common project. Apart from the work done, the meeting also was a means of getting to know one another better as brothers from different Provinces – this bonding happened during the working sessions as well as during a hike in the beautiful surroundings of the Province of Mendoza. Finally, the presence of the postulants from the different Provinces, apart from proving very helpful in practical ways, gave the friars a sense of new Franciscan energy.