On January 3-4, 2024, the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo-Molise) conducted its first two-day continuing formation retreat for 2023-24. The event took place at the Sant’Antonio Friary in Pescara, Italy, and was focused on learning more about the Later Rule.

The retreat began on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 3, and concluded with lunch the next day. The program included two presentations, one for each day, followed by fraternal discussion. On the evening of the first day, the fraternity laid their doubts and questions at the foot of the Blessed Sacrament, during Eucharistic Adoration. The second day ended with Mass, presided over by the Minister Provincial, Friar Mauro DE FILIPPIS DELFICO.
Regarding the presentations, the friars were glad to be taught by their confrere, Friar Felice AUTIERI. During his presentation on the first day, he gave an in-depth analysis that retraced the historical and relational events that led to the formulation of the Later Rule, as we know it today. On the second day, he explored the great differences and countless personal frailties that constituted the first Franciscan fraternity. Running through a list of friars described in the Franciscan Sources, Friar Felice tried to show that behind every saint, there is a real flesh-and-blood person, fully imbued with human weakness and constantly in need of conversion and mercy―like each of us.
This formation event, as mentioned, ended with Mass followed by a happy and fraternal agape meal.

Friar Paride AMMIRATI, Provincial Secretary