This is the time of year when the post-novices of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Brazil meet at the São Francisco de Assis Formation House in Brasilia (Federal District) for the annual winter course in Franciscanism. This traditional course, promoted by the Union of Conventual Franciscans of Brazil (UCOB), is now in its thirty-fifth year.

The course was held on July 10-21, 2023. It is a formation course that is usually held during the break between the first and second school semesters. It is already an established tradition for friars from the other regions in Brazil to participate as well. This year’s participating Jurisdictions Brazil included the Province of St. Francis in Brazil (São Paulo Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and the Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in Brazil (Maranhão). In addition, there were some friars from the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela and the Provincial Custody of St. Francis in Bolivia.
During the course, the friars explored topics related to Franciscan history, and the writings of leading Franciscan thinkers. Their studies led them to important discussion on the relevance of these topics today.
The main theme of the course was the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Later Rule, there were other topics covered as well. Friar Marcelo BORGES DA SILVA spoke on the topic, “Back to the Sources: From Inspiration to Institution.” Friar Michael Joseph LASKY, the General Delegate for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, delved into the central theme, “The 800th Anniversary of the Later Rule and Its Reverberations in Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.” Friar Erick MARÍN CARBALLO spoke about his itinerant missionary experience in the Amazon region. Professor Marcos AURÉLIO spoke on the theme, “Duns Scotus and Franciscan Christocentrism.” Friar Henrique ARGUILAR FILHO, OFM Cap., reflected on “The School of Paris: St. Bonaventure.” Finally, Friar Víctor Manuel MORA MESÉN concluded the formation session with “Sacred Scripture in the Study of St. Francis of Assisi.”
In addition to the time the friars devoted to study, they also enjoyed some fraternal time together, playing sports, taking part in some recreation activities, discussing their lives, and pausing at the altar of the Lord to celebrate Mass.