On May 17-27, 2024, the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in India conducted its annual gathering for friars in formation. The event took place at the St. Bonaventure Franciscan Ashram in Bangalore, India.

The gathering was blessed with the presence of all of the Rectors of the major seminaries in the Province and the President of the Formation Commission, Friar Justin PALAMATTATH. It was a great occasion for all the friars to mingle with their confreres and enjoy spending time together.
During the first three days of the gathering, the friars attended a course in Franciscan studies. Friars Patrick VARGHESE (KANNADAN), Shibin MALAYIL, and Louis PANTHIRUVELIL, shared the depth of their wisdom teaching about the Franciscan charism. The friars were given the opportunity to reflect on the theme: “How to Be a Franciscan in the Present Changing Global Context.”
During the second phase of the gathering, the friars went on an outing to the city of Mysore. This enjoyable excursion gave the friars an opportunity to share the joy of Franciscan life with everyone they met. The friars explored some really entertaining and worthwhile sites, such as the Mysore Palace, the Mysore Zoo, the Chamundi Hills, the Snow Palace, Aqua World, and more.
The third phase of the gathering was a five-day retreat led by Friar Amal MANICKAM, OFM, from Chennai, India. The retreat was conducted on the theme of the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi and was thus a completely Franciscan retreat. The friars examined the pre-conversion and post-conversion periods of St. Francis’ life and acquired a deeper understanding of the stigmata of St. Francis. They said the retreat helped them learn what it means to be an authentic Christian and a true Franciscan.

Friar Patrick VARGHESE (KANNADAN), Provincial Secretary