On November 13-15, 2022, the Province of St. Elisabeth in Germany conducted a three-day continuing formation event for its German-speaking friars. The event took place at the friary in Schwarzenberg, Germany.

Those attending included the Guardians of the friaries in Austria and Germany along with the Definitors from the Province of Germany and the Provincial Custody of St. Leopold and St. Nicolas of Flüe in Austria-Switzerland. The Assistant General for the Centralis Europae Foederatio (CEF), Friar Igor SALMIČ, was also present.
The speaker for the event was Sister Katharina KLUITMANN, the former President of the German Conference of Major Superiors. She guided the friars in exploring the theme of the event: “Community”. During her presentation, besides covering the material she had prepared, she also managed to get the friars to talk to each other. One of the focal points was the examination of her dissertation. More than ten years ago, she conducted interviews with over one hundred nuns and drew some psychological conclusions from them, many of which probably also apply to men’s communities. Going step by step, the friars were invited to learn what is important for their community and what concrete steps they can take for fraternity development.
During one community evening, something unusual awaited the friars. They were given a taste of “spontaneous theatre.” Five actors gave improvised performances, sometimes shouting at each other, in order to provide a good example of how the community can function better.
Another highlight took place on the last day. The friars were given a guided tour of the HEUNISCH foundry, which operates internationally and is located about 20 km [12 mi.] from the Schwarzenberg friary. The company has over a thousand employees. The Director of the company took time to greet the friars and pointed out some important principles of her leadership activities. The friars were amazed by her expertise and how passionately she spoke about living one’s vocation fruitfully in different areas of life.

Friar Andreas MURK