Members of the Friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome took part in a series of retreat days: November 12 and December 17, 2022, and March 4 and May 6, 2023. Each retreat day had a theme tied to the 800th Anniversary of the Later Rule. The themes were: “The Vows,” “The Incarnation of Christ,” “Penance and Reconciliation,” and “Work.”

The locations chosen for the retreat days were all in Italy and were noted for their historical and devotional importance. They were: the Catacombs of San Sebastiano on the Appian Way, the Franciscan Shrines of the Rieti Valley, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, where the Rule was approved, and finally, the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love, a Marian devotional site much appreciated by the people of Rome. The retreat days were organized and preached by the Procurator General, Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO. To facilitate meditation, he prepared guide sheets with biblical and Franciscan texts, as well as related comments and questions. In addition to the spiritual dimension of the retreat days, time was also set aside for fraternal and cultural activities. Each retreat began with a guided tour of the site and ended with lunch. The participants received a generous welcome from the Friars Minor at the Catacombs of San Sebastiano and at Poggio Bustone [one of the Franciscan Shrines of the Rieti Valley]. About one third or one quarter of the members of the community of the Twelve Holy Apostles attended the retreat days. The rest had travel commitments in service to the Order or other personal obligations.

Friar Maurizio DI PAOLO