On November 14-16, 2023, the friars of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania met for two days of continuing formation at the Sf. Francisc de Assisi Friary in Roman, Romania.

The speaker for this event was the highly esteemed psychologist, Dr. Marina VENCESLAI, who came from beautiful Umbria in Italy. The theme for the two-day meeting was “The Mission,” which is also the third chapter of the Four-Year Provincial Plan. Each session of the meeting began with some opening remarks from the head of the Commission for Continuing Formation, Friar Brother Lucian HORLESCU. He provided some logistical guidelines to help the friars more effectively benefit from the formation session.
At the beginning, Dr. VENCESLAI focused on the etymology and semantic meaning of mission. Referring to various authors, she gradually developed the theme by pointing out certain characteristics that can be useful in carrying out the mission well, at the personal and communal level.
In a very clever way, she helped the friars understand the importance of self-knowledge, and the role of motivation in accomplishing one’s mission. Being aware of the needs that you are trying to fulfill through a certain mission, putting those needs in hierarchical order, and planning the fulfillment of the mission based on all of this is precisely what improves one’s effectiveness in mission.
As regards mission at the community level, Dr. VENCESLAI made it clear that we need to develop specific skills and competencies that facilitate the fulfillment of our mission. These included some relational skills such as: being able to solve problems, being able to tolerate them and being able to transform them.
After her presentations in the lecture hall, Dr. VENCESLAI handed out a list of questions for the friars to use for reflection and group discussion. The discussions lasted for about an hour. After that, everyone was directed to the chapel where the main meeting with the Lord took place, namely, Mass at noon, with the Vicar Provincial, Friar Ionel-Emilian DUMEA, presiding. In his homily, Friar Ionel-Emilian aptly highlighted the role and essence of our mission: “We have the task of serving one another, not just serving ourselves! That is why our service must be free and selfless!”
After the Mass, and a fraternal agape meal, the friars returned to the lecture hall to report on and discuss the work they did in groups, as well as to share the richness of the ideas that each group developed.
Dr. VENCESLAI answered the questions that had been left open in the groups and complemented what the groups had presented or discussed with useful suggestions and practical examples.
At the end of each day, the friars thanked God for the gift of formation. They thanked the speaker for her lectures and her timely and practical answers to their questions. Moreover, each of the friars was thanked for just being and for his mission inside or outside of the Province.
Invigorated and renewed by this formation experience, each friar returned to his mission more motivated to become an instrument of peace and good for the community, the Province and humanity.

Friar Lucian HORLESCU