From August 28 to September 2, 2022, the friars from the two communities of the Delegation in Chile of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy) conducted a formation week.

The formation week began with a short spiritual retreat, led by the Vicar Provincial of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy), Friar Gilberto DEPEDER. The theme of the retreat was “They Were Together…But They Caught Nothing,” taken from the Gospel of John 21:1-14, focusing on the mission of the disciples that plays out between failures and new beginnings. In the afternoon, the topic was “Cambia-menti [a word play turning ‘changes’ into ‘changing minds’]: Seeking Agreement or Building Consensus?” Then, Father Larry YÉVENES, SJ, gave a lecture on the religious mission in Chile, which over the last sixty years has undergone rapid changes, both on the social and the ecclesial level, accompanied by various crises, which represent a great challenge for the confreres. After the two lectures, Friar Gilberto invited the friars to look to the future by examining the topics of redesign and reform, using the process of discernment and decision based upon their discussion of the road traveled so far (dreams, projects, commitments) and their plans for the future.
On the last day, the friars devoted half a day to conduct a fraternal meeting of the Delegation, during which they shared news from the past three months.
The formation week was a good opportunity to reflect on and discuss the experience of the Delegation in Chile. The 25th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Friar Fabrizio RESTANTE was a good excuse for a half day of reflection on the priesthood, led by Friar Gilberto on the theme: “This Is My Body.” Others taking part in the formation week included Friar Luke VŨ, a Vietnamese friar who is learning Spanish; Friar Augusto Esteban URZÚA GONZÁLES, who would soon profess his perpetual vows; and Friars Alberto LACOVARA and Damiano M. CASTAGNA, two seminarians from the Sant’Antonio Dottore Post-Novitiate belonging to the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy).

Friar Jack GINTING