AUGUST 18, 2017
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Zambia: Formation Workshops

The Zambian Province of the Franciscan Protomartyrs recently had three formation workshops at three different locations. This was done at the invitation of the Provincial Commission for Ongoing Formation, in collaboration with the Minister Provincial of Zambia, his Definitory and the General Delegate for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation [GPSC]. 

Friar Joseph arrived in Zambia on May 7, 2017, and conducted the first workshop on May 8, at the St. Bonaventure formation house in Lusaka. The second workshop was held on May 10, at the friary-parish of the Immaculate Conception in Luanshya. The third workshop was conducted on May 12 at the friary of St. Maximillian Kolbe in Solwezi. 
Altogether, 45 friars from almost all of the Zambian communities participated in these workshops. The Delegate returned to Rome on May 15.
The main theme of the workshops was “Practicing Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Light of Laudate Si’.
Friar Joseph BLAY, the General Delegate for GPSC, presented two lectures at each meeting.
In the first, he spoke about the theological foundation of justice and peace and the systematic development of that theme in the Church. He then elaborated on the same theme as being part of our Franciscan heritage, directly passed on to us from St. Francis, and thus an integral part of our spirituality in serving the world in which we friars live.
In his second lecture, he presented Laudate Si’, referring to the main points of the encyclical. In his opinion, Laudate Si’ is a prophetic text in which the Pope argues the theme that our world cannot withstand the pace of development without applying some brakes and that, above all, we must repair the damage already done to the planet. While animating the friars during his lectures, Friar Joseph emphasized that Laudate Si’ is not some book from the library, but rather, a real guidebook for making change.
During discussion in small groups, the friars talked about their expectations concerning the workshop, local issues in which they could be involved and obstacles that frustrated or prevented them from carrying out the ministry of justice, peace and integrity of creation.
At each location, the workshop was an opportunity for awakening, education, challenge and fraternity.

Friar Joseph BLAY, General Delegate for GPSC

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