From Monday, June 20, to Friday, June 24, 2022, the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela conducted its first joint meeting of members of its vocation ministry team and members of its formation team. The Provincial Custos, Friar Franklin A. DURÁN ZAMBRANO and the Vocation Animator, Friar Juan G. MARTÍNEZ CANELÓN, led the meeting. The event took place at the Custodial Curia in Guanare, Venezuela.
In his opening remarks, the Custos encouraged the friars to use this meeting as a time to evaluate the performance of their service over the last four years and to prepare for the next four-year term. Moreover, he urged them to let this work be their guide in drafting the Custodial Directory for Formation as set forth in the Constitutions, 133, §2 and Franciscan Discipleship, no. 165. Thus, a commission was established to begin drafting this Directory based upon the Custody’s current formation projects, such as, the Vocations Ministry Project and the Formation Guidelines for the Postulancy and Post-Novitiate Programs. The members of the commission were Friar Carlos R. ORTÍZ ROJAS, Rector of the Postulancy Program; Friar Alirio MOLINA MÁRQUEZ, Rector of the Post-Novitiate Program; Friars Ángel J. NIÑO PACHECO and Juan G. MARTINEZ CANELÓN, members of the vocation ministry team.
The Custos gave a presentaion on “Building Paths of Configuration Together.” He pointed out that both the Custody and Order have established methods and guidelines for formation, which urgently call the friars to a renewed prophetic-apocalyptic consciousness. They call the friars to lead transparent, Franciscan lives, which reveal and give witness to Jesus present among us and promote what is new in the context of young people who are characterized by the dynamic of continuous transformation. He invited the friars to use constructive thinking when carrying out formation, being mindful that young people are the protagonists of their own formative processes.
Over the following days, the members of each team (formators and vocation ministry associates) gave presentations on various formation projects. The presentations were followed by round table discussions for the purpose of evaluating and updating the projects.
-Friar Ángel and Friar Juan presented the Custodial Vocation Ministry Project (2019-2023), which describes certain criteria vocation ministers should meet when guiding vocations, such as: prayer, open dialogue, assertive communication, spiritual direction, and more.
-Friar Carlos presented a project on the formation guidelines for the aspirancy and postulancy programs. He stressed that these stages mark the beginning of a path that gradually leads a young man toward a process of integral maturation allowing him to acquire the proper values for religious life and the Franciscan charism.
– Friar Alirio and Friar Domicio R. MOLINA PEREZ presented a project on the formation guidelines for the post-novitiate program. The post novitiate is a phase of consolidating and interiorizing the spiritual, missionary, doctrinal, practical, experiential and charismatic values and ideals that were cultivated during the formation process. It must be systematic and adapted to the post novices’ abilities.
The Custos concluded the meeting with some words of thanks and encouragement and stated that the meeting had been a time of grace for evaluating the friars past service and for starting to draft the Custodial Directory for Formation. The Directory must be approved by the next Custodial Chapter and by the Minister General with his Definitory (Constitutions 133, §2).
Friar Juan G. MARTÍNEZ CANELÓN, Custodial Secretary