On May 24-28, 2024, a formation course took place for members of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) and OFS spiritual assistants. The course, entitled “The Wisdom of Love,” was held at the Manresa Retreat House in Quezon City, Metropolitan Manila, the Philippines. The retreat house is run by sisters of the Daughters of Jesus.

The course began on Friday May 24, at 4:00 p.m., with a greeting from the course organizers followed by Mass. Next, Augustine YOON, a former Councilor of the International Council of the Secular Franciscan Order (CIOFS), gave a presentation at 6:00 p.m., entitled “Update on the National Fraternities of Asia and Oceania.”
Except for the final day, each day began with 6:00 a.m. Mass followed by presentations on various topics, starting at 8:00 a.m.
On Saturday morning, May 25, the General Assistant of the Secular Franciscan Order, Friar Ștefan ACATRINEI, OFM Conv., gave two lectures on the topic, “The Wisdom of Love.” From 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the participants discussed and shared their ideas that had emerged during earlier group work. The course work resumed at 2:00 p.m. with the presentation of reports from each country regarding OFS formation in Asia and Oceania. Next, Augustine YOON gave a lecture on “A Thematic Guide for Formation.” The day ended with a presentation of the summary of the work done in groups, followed by a period of recreation, entitled “Franciscan Joy.”
On Sunday, May 26, a number of topics were presented. Friar Ștefan ACATRINEI lectured on “The Franciscan Centenaries” and “The Service of Leadership in the Writings of St. Francis and St. Clare.” Grace Jose GARLENE and Lucy ALMIRAÑEZ presented “Fraternal Leadership: A Challenge and a Commitment.” and CIOFS Councilor Francis PARK presented “CIOFS Communications – International Statutes.” The evening was devoted to a cultural performance.
On Monday, May 27, there was a pilgrimage to the Shrine Basilica of San Pedro Bautista and a visit to Tagaytay City. On Tuesday, May 28, a final document summarizing the work that had been done during the course was presented and approved. Next, there was a fraternal conversation between the participants and CIOFS Councilors Francis PARK and Friar Ștefan ACATRINEI. The course concluded with Mass at 11:00 a.m.
Those attending the course included thirty-eight OFS members, one member of Franciscan Youth and twelve Spiritual Assistants, coming from twelve different countries. In addition to the topics presented, the course offered the participants the chance to get to know each other better, talk about the challenges of their national fraternities, exchange ideas and formation material and enjoy the beauty of being together as brothers and sisters in the great Franciscan Family.

Friar Ștefan ACATRINEI, General Assistant of the Secular Franciscan Order