“I shall walk [forever] before the Lord…” With these words, taken from Psalm 116, the Second Novitiate Experience of the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP) began in Assisi on Sunday, July 25, 2021. The event took place at the Protoconvent of St. Francis at Rivotorto. This year, six young friars asked to profess their solemn vows.
Three of the friars belonged to the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy), namely, Friars Francesco A. COSMA, Roberto GOTTARDI and Luca M. RANOCCHINI. The other three were members of the Province of the Seraphic Father St. Francis in Italy (Naples), namely, Friars Giuseppe DI BIASE, Roberto M. DI GENNARO and Salvatore M. ROBUSTELLI. A seventh friar participated who was from the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO). He was Friar Hunor Tamás ZSÓK from the Provincial Delegation in Hungary and Transylvania, of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk).
During this month-long experience, the participants were invited to listen more closely to the Word of God, in an atmosphere of silence and contemplation. This was to help them reengage with their ongoing process of discernment as each of them prepares to surrender his life totally to the Lord, following the example of his father St. Francis of Assisi. Along the way, they were assisted by a formation team, comprised for some years now by Friar Bernardino HOSPITAL POSADA of the Province of Our Lady of Monserrat in Spain; Friar Giuseppe TONDO of the Province of St. Nicholas and St. Angelo in Italy (Puglia); and Friar Etienne GILSON from the Province of St. Paul the Apostle in Malta.
In addition to time dedicated to prayer, the friars at Rivotorto shared mealtimes, household chores and various fraternal spaces with the local community of friars. The weekly schedule also allowed them to visit a few Franciscan places in Umbria and its environs.
We are grateful to the Lord for the gift of these brothers and we support their journey of preparation with our prayers.
Friar Francis A. COSMA