On January 8, 2018, by God’s grace, the UCOB (Union of Conventual Franciscans of Brazil) began its “Second Novitiate”, a month-long program of preparation for solemn profession. The event got underway at the São Francisco de Assis Retreat Center in Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil.
Ten temporarily-professed friars participated. Two were from the Province of St. Francis in Brazil (São Paulo); two from the Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in Brazil (Maranhão); and six from the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Brazil (Brasilia). The program was under the guidance and coordination of the Second Novitiate Director, Friar Jean DE SOUZA.
The purpose of the Second Novitiate was to reflect and meditate upon the Franciscan charism and to experience it more deeply. It was to freely and responsibly prepare oneself for the profession of solemn vows, a public declaration of the definitive commitment to follow Christ in the manner of Francis of Assisi, in the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.
During the first week of formation, Friar Márcio MAGALHÃES made a nice presentation on various proposals for living Franciscanism today.
On January 8-12, the friars reflected on the sense of belonging to the Order, on different levels. They reflected on the commitment to the Franciscan religious life and on Franciscan Christian spirituality. Using Francis of Assisi’s own path to conversion as a guiding perspective, the friars tried to learn with him to understand their present context and to respond to today’s issues, as the Saint of Assisi did—from the strength of the Gospel. The first week concluded with a reflection on minority, an essential element of the Conventual Franciscan identity. The friars rediscovered that being minor means being the servant of all. For example, the Lord, who was the greatest, made himself the least and a servant.
During the second week, there was a meditation on the human dimension in religious life, under the guidance of Friar Carlos QUEIROZ. It dealt especially with the process of human formation and how to create processes of resilience—the ability to withstand and overcome trauma—in the lives of consecrated persons. The week was very fruitful for the growth of the friars.
During the last week of the Novitiate, the friars, under the guidance of Friar Alexandre PATUCCI, examined religious life from the perspective of its prophetic witness and relevance.
The Second Novitiate concluded on February 3, 2018. The friars are grateful for the prayers and fraternal guidance of the whole Order.
The friars of the UCOB Second Novitiate