On March 1-2, 2019, an ongoing formation meeting was held by the friars of the Provincial Custody of St. Daniel and Companion Martyrs in Italy (Calabria). The thematic thread connecting the meeting’s various sessions was “Charismatic Identity in the Light of the Constitutions of the Order.”.
The meeting was hosted at the La Principessa Congress Center in Campora San Giovanni – Amantea, a modern structure with a pretty little church.
Those participating included the Custos, Friar Giorgio TASSONE, along with sixteen of the eighteen solemnly professed friars who live in the Calabrian Custody. Two more reside in Rome, one at the friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles and the other at the Seraphicum. A third friar is in his last year of theological studies in Assisi.
The main speaker was Friar Robert LEŻOHUPSKI. He made the meeting worthwhile, instructive and appealing. Friar Robert belongs to the friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome. Among other things, he serves as a judge in the Ecclesiastical Court of Vatican City and is a professor at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome.
His clear, concise presentations were made even more engaging and stimulating through the use of a video projector with which he gave a presentation on the Constitutions. The Constitutions are a tool with which to think and re-think our Order, which is always seeking its own charismatic identity. The four salient points of our charism were highlighted: “Fraternity”, “Minority”, “Conventuality” and “Marianity”.
The themes generated a productive debate between the speaker and the friars. We tried to keep the discussion focused on Calabria, which has a rich past and a problematic but hopeful present.
Attentive to the interiority of the person, Friar Robert went over the content of the Constitutions with mastery. He reawakened in the participants the ability to discern a path towards a clear and courageous faith and to lead others along that path with joy and passion.
The participants gained a greater awareness of their difficulties and this contributed to the success of the meeting. Everyone felt amicably inspired, challenged and called to rethink the way they look at their own Franciscan identity. The Franciscan identity must not be static or rigid, but positive, proactive, creative and attentive to the cry of the poor today, especially in view of the new configuration proposed for the Conventual Franciscan presences in southern Italy.
There were plenty of convivial and prayerful moments which helped the friars grow more open and optimistic. At the end, Friar Robert surprised everyone with the gift of a new book, “Commentary on the New and Revised Constitutions: Order of Friars Minor Conventual” which he wrote along with Friar Timothy KULBICKI, OFM Conv. The book was just published by the Niepokalanów Publishing House (2019).
Friar Piotr ANZULEWICZ, Custodial Secretary