February 29, 2024, was a “gift day.” The Province of St. Elizabeth in Germany used it to conduct a continuing formation day.

The formation day was held at the friary in Cologne, Germany. Six friars are currently residing there, including a young confrere from Romania who is learning German. The main pastoral work of the friars is hearing confessions; therefore, the sacrament of reconciliation was the formation theme chosen for this day. Those participating included the friars from the friaries in Cologne, Würzburg, Schönau and Schwarzenberg.
Professor Friar Rafael RIEGER, OFM, was the invited speaker. He holds the chair of Canon Law at the Catholic University of Eichstätt in Germany. After sharing his personal experiences regarding confession, both as a penitent and as a confessor, Friar Rafael provided information about the legal aspects of the sacrament of reconciliation. The program included topics such as the sacramental seal and the issue of the criteria that a confessor should offer penitents. The friars had a stimulating discussion and took advantage of the day to deepen their formation in this important area of their pastoral work.
There was a moment of music during Midday Prayer: a couple, friends of the friars, played violin and viola.

Friar Andreas MURK