From Monday to Saturday, February 13-18, 2023, the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo-Molise) together with the Province of St. Nicholas and St. Angelo in Italy (Puglia) conducted its second scheduled joint spiritual retreat.
The retreat took place at the Giovanni XXIII Formation House in Larino, Italy, a town rich in history, including Franciscan history. Among other things, it was the birthplace of the famous Friar Giovanni Battista BERARDICELLI, Minister General of the Order at the time of the Catholic reform [1632-1647].
Eighteen friars, from both Jurisdictions, took part in the retreat. The retreat was led under the expert direction of Father Stefano TITTA, SJ. He presented a series of interesting reflections that were mainly inspired by the biblical story of Naaman the Syrian mentioned in 2 Kings 5. In addition to the reflections and teaching moments, the retreat featured periods of community prayer and other common activities, all conducted in an atmosphere of peace and contemplation.
Although both Provinces will be united as a single Province in 2024, they started holding joint spiritual retreats years before the unification process ever began. These retreats have undoubtedly contributed to building a deeper human and spiritual communion between the friars of the two sister Provinces, laying the groundwork for the full realization of their upcoming institutional unification.
Friar Massimo Antonio RUGGIERO