The Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome has just hosted the tenth edition of the annual Conference promoted by the faculty’s Kolbean Chair.
Every year on this occasion, various scholars bring their specific skills to bear to address and focus attention on the style and thought of the Martyr of Auschwitz as well as his cultural and spiritual message. Over the years, this event has produced several studies, insights and publications. It is celebrated yearly on the first Saturday of May.
On the afternoon of May 4, 2019, a conference was presented in the Sisto V Lecture Hall at the Seraphicum” International College of Friars Minor Conventual in Rome. The theme of the conference was “The New Evangelization Today: Challenges and Opportunities”.
Friar Raffaele DI MURO, Director of the Kolbean Chair, introduced the presentations and welcomed the many participants. Those attending this formative event included the novices of Assisi; the professors and students of the Seraphicum; groups from the Militia of the Immaculate (M.I.); members of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS); a group from the Father Kolbe Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate; members of the Kolbean Chair; and members of the scientific committee from Miles magazine. There were some newcomers to this year’s event: a group of students from Seneca High School in Rome who are taking part in a school-work experience with the M.I.
Rapid social changes urge Christians engaged in history to identify new ways of evangelization, which are effective for modern times and which take into account the guidelines of the ecclesial Magisterium. Several speakers considered this in their presentations.
The first presentation was offered by Prof. Angela TAGLIAFICO, a theologian at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. Her presentation was entitled, “Evangelization in Paul VI and Pope Francis”. She highlighted some key points about evangelization in the Apostolic Exhortations: Evangelii nuntiandi and Evangelii gaudium, which are considered fundamental regarding evangelization.
The second lecture, “The New Evangelization: Challenges and Opportunities”, was presented by Father Francesco SPINELLI from the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. He made several references to Kolbe, defining him as a “Prophet of the New Evangelization”, as a model and example for finding the common ground that allows one to dialogue with modernity, at a time when so many people live “as if God did not exist”.
A third lecture was presented by Friar Gianfranco GRIECO, OFM Conv. A writer and journalist, he presented one of his works, the first official biography of Friar Antonio MANSI, OFM Conv, the co-founder of the M.I. It is entitled: “The Eldest Son” (Miscellanea Francescana Publishing House). The beatification process was recently opened for this young friar who died at the age of 22.
The President of the Seraphicum, Friar Đình Anh Nhue (Tomasz) NGUYÉN OFM Conv., concluded the meeting.
Friar Raffaele DI MURO, OFM Conv.