On March 18-21, 2019 a formation seminar for the Guardians of the Provinces of St. Joseph in Slovenia and St. Jerome in Croatia took place at the friary on the island of Cres in Croatia. The seminar was organized by the Conventual Franciscan General Secretariat for Formation (SGF).
The seminar’s coordinators and speakers were Friars Louis PANTHIRUVELIL, SGF Secretary; Emanuele RIMOLI; Giulio CESAREO; and Miljenko HONTIĆ, the Assistant General for Centralis Europae Foederatio (CEF). They were joined by two Ministers Provincial, Friars Josip BLAŽEVIĆ of Croatia and Igor SALMIČ of Slovenia. Professor Renato MATIĆ was also present and lectured on the theme: “The Socio-Cultural Context of Slovenia and Croatia.” Each day of the four-day course was full and intensive. On the first day, the participants discussed the personal experience of being a guardian in the reality of our friaries. Then reports were heard on the different aspects of the service of authority. These included various dimensions: biblical-spiritual, anthropological, Franciscan, cultural (in terms of geographical context), psycho-pedagogical and finally, the juridical dimension. An interesting presentation was made on the issue of conflict management and how Christian and Franciscan authority is called to deal with conflicts.
The program offered many opportunities for group work, exchanging ideas and experiences, and discussing and rethinking the role of the service of Guardian.
The entire course was interspersed with periods of community prayer. Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours were celebrated and the friars participated in other intensive prayer activities such as Eucharistic adoration and lectio divina.
On the third day, Friar Vitomir GLAVAŠ, the Guardian of Cres, led a trip to visit some small villages and other areas on the island.
The Seminar ended on Thursday, March 21, after an evaluation, with the celebration of Midday Prayer. At that time, each guardian received a parchment containing some advice to help him in his service.
Friar Željko KLARIĆ, Guardian of the friary in Vinkovci, Croatia