On June 16, 2021, the sisters of the cloistered Franciscan congregations in Poland concluded a year of Franciscan formation. During the year, Friar Emil KUMKA of the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow) conducted a series of online conferences on Franciscan hagiography via the Zoom platform.
The formation year began in October of 2020. For an hour half each month (twice in June of 2021), Friar Emil taught the sisters about the hagiography of St. Francis of Assisi. He began with introductory lectures on the Middle Ages, following the chronology of the life of the Seraphic Father. He focused in particular on Franciscan hagiographic writings. He paid special attention to the works of Thomas of Celano, Julian of Spire, Bonaventure of Bagnoregio and the anonymous authors in the Franciscan Sources. Friar Emil taught using PowerPoint presentations, which helped enrich the lessons and facilitate the assimilation of the contents.
About fifteen communities participated using the Zoom platform. They included the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, the Urban Poor Clares, the Capuchin Poor Clares, the Bernardines and the Sisters of the Annunciation. Moreover, since the lessons were pre-recorded, many sisters from various communities were able to receive the conferences and listen to them at their own pace.
In order to continue their spiritual nourishment during the pandemic, the sisters decided to communicate by means of the Internet. This was the first time that the Poor Clares and the Bernardines of Poland had conducted formation in this way. The nuns liked this form very much, especially because it maintained their cloistered lifestyle.
Special thanks to Friar Emil for the time he dedicated to this initiative, and to Sister Miriam DUDEK of Miedniewice, Poland, who served as the moderator for the entire event.
More of these formation meetings on Franciscan and Clarian themes are planned for the future.
Sister Paulina Maria KACZMAREK, OSC