From September 1 to October 11, 2018, the Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC) conducted its now traditional “Rivotorto” Ongoing Formation Course. “Rivotorto,” or more specifically, the Proto-Friary of Rivotorto in Assisi, Italy, is the main location where the course is held.
The course has gone through many editions since its inception in the early 1980s. It has always been organized by the Assistants General of the Area, with various collaborators, particularly the communities of Rivotorto and the Seraphicum College, where the course participants are able to take part in the communal life.
This year’s edition was attended by seventeen friars from several different countries: Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico and Ecuador. The coordinator was Friar Jesús Eudoro CEBALLOS BENAVIDES of the Delegation of Ecuador.
Besides the fraternal experience of the “community” formed by the students under the guidance of the coordinator, the course was interwoven with various other elements: lessons, reflections, guided visits to Franciscan places, Franciscan pilgrimages, celebrations, visits to the General Houses and to various sites in the Eternal City.
The main location, as mentioned, was Rivotorto, but the participants spent a few days at the Friary of St. Anthony (Padua, Italy), and also stayed at the Seraphicum College during the first and last days of the course. The group got to visit Assisi and its surroundings (several Franciscan sites), the Valle Reatina, Padua, Camposampiero, Venice, Osimo, Rome and Vatican City.
The local superiors in all those places, including the General Curia, collaborated so that the course could be carried out as planned. Many thanks to the Custody of Assisi, the Seraphicum College, the Province of Padua, the General Curia and all the other General Houses, the individual friars, and the communities.
Friar Charles BALDACCHINO, the guardian of Rivotorto, Friar Mauro GAMBETTI, the Custos of the Sacred Convent in Assisi, and both of their communities, were very welcoming and hospitable and made the participants feel at home, especially in Assisi, a main objective of the course.
Several collaborators guided the group; Friars Carlos Roberto de Oliveira CHARLES (Brazil); Bernardino HOSPITAL POSADA (Spain); Valentín REDONDO FEUNTES (Spain); Miguel Ángel LÓPEZ (Rioplatense); Valentino MARAGNO (Padua); François BUSTILLO (France ); and finally, Friar Bernardo MOLINA, OFM Cap. (Chile), as well as other friars who on various occasions, while offering hospitality, were able to provide valuable content.
The course was coordinated in a very “Franciscan” style as described by the coordinator, Friar Jesús Eudoro. He helped the participants maintain fraternal cohesion and encouraged them to exercise their gifts and creativity. These were elements that were all part of the experiential content of the course.
The member countries of the FALC Federation are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Friar Carlos Trovarelli, Assistant General for the FALC