On May 22-23, 2023, the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo-Molise) conducted its final continuing formation retreat for 2022-23. The retreat was about actualizing the Franciscan charism in the light of the mystery of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The event was held at the St. Anthony Friary in Pescara, Italy.

As usual, the retreat took place over two days. It began Monday afternoon, May 22, and ended with lunch the following day. The retreat program included two lectures, one for each day, followed by discussion and fraternal sharing. At the end of the first day, the members of the fraternity attended evening adoration, where they laid their doubts and difficulties at the foot of the Blessed Sacrament. The second day ended with Mass presided over by the Assistant General for the Federazione Intermediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), Friar Giovanni VOLTAN. Friar Giovanni, although conducting a canonical visitation of the Province, nevertheless took the time to participate fraternally in the retreat.
Regarding the lectures, the friars were pleased and honored to receive a presentation from the illustrious ecclesiologist Serena NOCETI, who had joyfully accepted the invitation of the Minister Provincial, Friar Mauro DE FILIPPIS. Her insight tried, in general terms, to rethink the ministry of presiding over the Mass, and the celebration of the Mass itself, in the light of the prophetic vision of the Second Vatican Council, re-interpreted in the current historical-cultural context. On the first day in particular, there was an ecclesiological reading of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, proposing criteria for pastoral conversion aimed at effectively bearing witness to the mystery of a Church that shares the Bread of Life. On the second day, there was a focus on the significance of the ministry of the priest as one who presides over the ecclesial “we” within a multi-ministerial assembly. Particular emphasis was placed on the remaining bonds, unfortunately in force, between the theology and practices typical of the post-Tridentine period and those of the current ecclesial experience.
The formation retreat, as mentioned, concluded with Mass followed by a joyful and fraternal agape meal.

Friar Paride ADMIRATI, Provincial Secretary