On October 10-15, 2022, the Provincial Custody of St. Francis of Assisi in Colombia held its 4th annual meeting for young men in initial formation at the San Antonio de Padua Friary in Bogotá, Colombia.

The central theme of the meeting was “Listening and Synodality in Consecrated Life,” taken from the main ideas in Pope Francis’ message for World Vocations Day 2022. The event took place in a fraternal atmosphere. There was an emphasis on personal and communal meetings and prayer that helped to foster reflection and facilitate the pastoral and missionary planning of the Friars Minor Conventual. The young men spent time listening more attentively to each other, but also to the great Other. Such activities were proper to our lifestyle and helped the friars become more aware of the process of synodality in the Church.
The reflections during the meeting were led by the members of the Custodial Formation Commission. The meeting also included time for community events: recreation time, nature walks, planting trees in watershed areas and visiting the faithful at the Church of San Luis de Tolosa. In particular, the friars spent a day visiting families and a meeting with the beneficiaries of the church’s social pastoral care program.
The meeting was attended by five novices from the San Maximiliano Kolbe Novitiate of Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC) in Medellín, Colombia. Also present were three postulants, four temporarily professed friars; the Provincial Custos, Friar Sidifredo de la Cruz CHAPARRO GUALDRÓN; the Novice Master, Friar Pedro Pablo BERMÚDEZ; the Vice-Rector of the postulants, Friar Camilo CALLE RAMÍREZ; the Vice-Rector temporarily professed friars, Friar Alexander HERNÁNDEZ BLANCO; and the Rector of the temporarily professed friars, and President of the Formation Commission, Friar Jair del Cristo CONTRERAS LÁZARO.
The meeting ended with Mass on Saturday morning. After the participants reflected on all they had learned during the week, they were left with some important challenges and were motivated to embrace the Conventual Franciscan life as a profound experience of synodality and mutual acceptance.

The temporarily professed friars of Colombia