During April and May of 2018. the friars of the Missionary Center conducted some missionary animation by meeting with more than 100 young people from the formation houses of the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP).
This took place through a series of meetings. One meeting was held on April 17 at the Seraphicum International College in Rome. Another took place on April 24 at the novitiate of the Sacro Convento in Assisi. It was followed by another meeting at the post-novitiate of the Franciscanum, also in Assisi. On April 30, a meeting was held at the postulancy house in Osimo. Finally, on May 3, the friars of the Missionary Center met with the student friars of the “La Vigna” friary in Rome. More meetings are scheduled for October and November of this year at the formation houses in Romania, the postulancy house in Brescia, Italy and the post-novitiate house in Padua.
For the young men, the meetings were an immersion into missionarity. For the friars of the Center, the meetings were an occasion to talk about missionary animation and inform the young men about the life and activities of the FIMP Center. We taught them about the work that is being carried out in dialogue with missionaries throughout our Jurisdictions, in forty countries around the world. Moreover, we proposed the missionary animation that the Center conducts on the banks of the Tiber River, through “street evangelization.” Finally, we talked about the experience of some young lay people from the Italian Province of St. Anthony who spent a month conducting missionary animation in the home area of the Martyrs of Peru.
We found that the young men, though they are far from our missions, are quite interested in the subject. They have a desire to learn more about the missionary dimension and to enter into it with the conviction shared by our confreres scattered around the world.
We have seen the eager faces of young men, passionate about the missionary spirit, just as Pope Francis has wished. In some seminaries, the idea has been proposed to form a small group of students (a missionary circle), with the intent of keeping alive both their missionary animation and their desire to “get started” once their studies are finished. The young men in formation listened attentively to the Director of the Center, Friar Paolo FIASCONARO. Friar Paolo is also periodically in contact with the eleven missionary animators of the Provinces and Custodies of the FIMP Federation.
Each meeting ended with the screening of a docu-film produced by the Missionary Center. The film is on the life of our confrere Friar Antonio SINIBALDI. Friar Antonio was a solid example of missionarity and a witness to the gift of life, when, during a shipwreck in 1987, he saved the lives of seventeen young people, members of the parish of San Luis in Brazil. After saving their lives, he died from exhaustion on the beach. The beatification process is underway for this missionary confrere.
Friar Paolo FIASCONARO, Director of the Missionary Center