From Monday February 4 until Friday February 8, 2019, some confreres from Europe and the Americas gathered at the San Francisco Solano Retreat Center in Lima, Peru, to talk about their lives and experiences as Guardians of the friaries where they currently serve.
As the meeting progressed, the confreres reflected deeply on the “being and doing” of the Guardian. The meeting’s organizers, Friars Louis PANTHIRUVELIL, Emanuele RIMOLI and Franklin DURÁN ZAMBRANO, prepared several sessions to reflect on the identity of the Guardian, using various presentations, group dynamics, time for personal study of documents and even a roundtable discussion. In addition, Father Héctor CASAS presented a special perspective on the issue with his lecture on the “Cultural Dimension of Authority in the Latin American Context.” He used this theme as a springboard for the friars’ reflection, and encouraged them to continue their roles as animators in the communities entrusted to them.
There were, in addition, some activities during the meeting which allowed the participants to visit different locations and get to know the Peruvian culture better. For example, they visited various friaries in the Jurisdiction and got to see how the Polish and the Peruvian friars offer guidance to the People of God. The Guardians attending the meeting were very pleased with the hospitality they received from the friars serving in this beautiful country. Special thanks go to Friar Dariusz MAZUREK for the well-organized logistics of the meeting. The Guardians also give thanks to the great family of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual for having promoted fraternal meetings of this kind. Meetings like these help the confreres realize that they are not alone in the service they are entrusted with; they help the friars make the journey together, despite the distance. One thing in particular has given the confreres a profound sense of unity: communion—in their own process of conversion and learning, which the service of Guardian requires in order to enrich Franciscan fraternal life.