On Monday, October 25, 2021, the friars of the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land met on online for a day of formation using the Zoom platform. The event was led and preached by our confrere, Friar Andrew Jeylan HOCHSTEDLER.
The Assistant General for the Federazione Intermediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, also attended the meeting, which began around 10:30 a.m. The friars of the Custody participated from several far-flung locations, including Turkey, Lebanon, Poland and England. Despite the geographical distances between them, the friars were still able to enjoy this formation day together, under the leadership of Friar Andrew.
The theme Friar Andrew chose for this event is part of his doctoral work. His forty-minute reflection was entitled: “Preaching to a Spiritual Warrior with Poetry: The Virgin Mary as a Model of Discernment in the Ancient Syriac Tradition.” His reflection was divided into four sub-headings: “What is Syriac?”; “St. Ephrem: Religious Debate with Female Choirs”; “Dialogues and Disputes in the Church: Joseph and Mary”; and “Jacob of Sarugh: Preaching Mary, Mother of the Spiritual Struggle.”
The program highlighted some treasures of the patristic era. Today, studies in this field provide us with fresh opportunities to increase our prayer, discernment and faith.
In the end, after the friars posed questions, discussed and commented, they unanimously thanked Friar Andrew, saying: “May he continue to make good progress in his studies and in his doctoral work.”
The formation event ended around noon.
Friar Nicolas ABOU ANNY