On March 16, 2023, the Pastors and Guardians of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania gathered for a day of continuing formation. The event took place at the friary in Bacău, Romania.

In his opening remarks, the Minister Provincial, Friar Damian-Gheorghe PĂTRAȘCU, talked about “A Letter to a Minister” written by our Seraphic Father St. Francis. Then he personally thanked the participants for their service and the way they have led their friaries and parishes. He went on to say that he had been hearing very good things about the confreres, and that this was cause for joy and thanksgiving.
Next, the President of the Provincial Commission for Continuing Formation, Friar Lucian HORLESCU, gave a presentation. He stressed the important role that internal operating models play in the way we manage conflict. As children, we have internalized certain operating models based on our relationships with key figures in our lives. In order to recognize these models, we must have the courage to work on ourselves, to work on our strengths in order to optimize them, and to work on our weaknesses, so that they do not become stumbling blocks on our path to maturity. Friar Lucian invited the friars to make a true introspective journey of self-knowledge and to recognize their own models, with the aim of achieving integrative maturity in all aspects of their personalities. Moreover, he encouraged the friars to work on those models, to harmonize them with the life of consecration. Without working on themselves, the friars risk putting their claim of following Jesus, St. Francis, and the values they propose, in jeopardy. Indeed, any unprocessed models will continue to condition their actions and interactions. This becomes very evident in conflict situations.
After the opening presentation, the friars took some time for personal reflection. Next, the friars celebrated Mass. As they stood around the altar, they placed themselves and their weaknesses into the hands of the Lord and asked Him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. After the Mass, a fraternal agape meal was served followed by the friars sharing their personal reflections in small groups. A second meeting was conducted in the afternoon. At that time, the friars reported the results of their group work to the whole assembly. Next, Friar Lucian invited the friars to complete a self-assessment test about the way they personally handle conflict situations.
At the end of the day, the Minister Provincial thanked the participants for attending and offered them some practical suggestions to help them smoothly continue their fraternal lives. After being blessed by Friar Damian and having received spiritual nourishment, the friars returned to their home friaries.

Friar Lucian HORLESCU