To start off Lent, from March 10-13, 2019, an ongoing formation meeting was held for the friars of Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania, who now live in Germany. A friar from the Provincial Custody of St. Leopold and St. Nicolas of Flüe in Austria-Switzerland also participated.
The meeting was organized by Friars Ștefan ACATRINEI and Lucian HORLESCU, and took place in the parish rectory in Chieming.
The meeting started with a welcome from Friar Gabriel BUDĂU, the Representative of the Romanian friars in Germany. Then, Friar Ștefan, a Definitor of the Romanian Province, spoke. He conveyed greetings from Friar Teofil PETRIȘOR, the Minister Provincial of Romania. Next, he talked about the goodness of being together, and sharing moments of fraternal joy. Friar Ștefan spoke openly about his own experiences.
Friar Lucian, a professor and consultant at the Roman Theological Institute, presented the first lecture. He focused his discourse on the “Letter of St. Francis to a Minister” and offered some basic ideas for healthy relationships between the friars. We should not be offended by the sometimes negative behavior of our confreres, their value lies in their dignity as children of God and not in the ungenerous words of others. Friar Stefan presented the second lecture. Its theme was “The Mystery of Evil.” After a brief presentation on the book of Genesis, concerning the sin of Adam and Eve, he asserted that evil does not have an ontological reality, but exists to the extent that we allow it to enter our life. The awareness of personal evil, of the existence of evil, of its presence in the world and in our existence, must always lead us to the true life that is in Jesus Christ, to trust in Him and in the certainty that his grace can always convert us.
The meeting participants celebrated Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours together. They met for a discussion and spoke with great sincerity about their experiences. They also took part in an outing to the islands of Lake Chiemsee.
On the last day, Friar Bernhardin SEITHER, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany, visited the friars and together they discussed future collaborative projects.
Friar Gabriel BUDĂU