Capuchins Brothers serve the Tribals


Blessing of Garo Village Chapel in Khasi Hills




About 40 Capuchin friars who were participating in the ongoing formation program at the headquarters friary of Nirmala Matha Custody at Guwahati, Assam-Meghalaya, descended on the non-descript village of AMPHANGGRE on 10 December 2017 for the blessing of its newly built chapel and for the Holy Mass, giving a festive mood for the occasion. Obviously the villagers were overjoyed at the presence of a large number of Capuchins in their small hilly village. Children and elders alike heartily welcomed each one with a broad smile, warm hand shake, and the JISUNA RASONG (‘Praise be to Jesus Christ’) greeting on their lips, which are customary among  Garo tribe in the north-eastern part of India.

Retreat with Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa Ofm Cap

God blessed the Curia members with the possibility to spend quality time with our Br. Raniero. It was a time of inspiration for the participants. He based his sharing on the Letter to the Romans and made it alive with insightful and humorous wisdom saying and stories out of his 83 years of living the faith.

The following are some of the points and themes which touched us we share this to you so that they may touch and inspire you also.

Formation Secretaries from Cenoc had three days meeting in Malta from 18-20th February 2019.

The participants are: Martin Mikuskiewicz (Great Britain), Richard Van Grinsven (Nether Land), Kenny Brack (Belgium), Harald Weber (Germany), Adrian Müller (Switzerland), Miguel Zammit (Malta), Charles Alphonse (General Curia), Charles Serignat (England, Translator), Markus Thüer (Germany, Translator).

After an exchange on the state of ongoing formation in the provinces and communities, as in previous years, the question of the possibilities and limits of cooperation in initial formation has been on the agenda as the years before, in particular the project of a common novitiate for the Northern and Central European Capuchin provinces. As in the previous year, the trainers advised the provincial ministers to look for a novitiate house in the English-speaking area or in Italy and to release a number of brothers from several provinces in order to tackle the project as soon as possible.

At the subsequent meeting of the provincials, however, it was determined after careful consideration that there are currently no provinces with ability to send at least one brother to a Novitiate friary and the project was ended as unrealisable.

So remains the yearly meeting of postnovices as reality of cooperation in CENOC in the field of initial formation. From this year's meeting in Altötting and Salzburg, the report by Br. Ade from the UK is speaking:

(Thanks to Br. Harald Weber Ofm Cap, our International Councilor for Formation (CENOC) for sharing this article with us. And to Br. Ade Ofm Cap for preparing this summary)

Some Suggestions that emerged for the future :

-As the number of new vocations is very much limited we need to come together to find new ways to live and spread our Capuchin Charism and have new vocations.

-The friars have to visit other countries to get to know the fraternal life of friars from other realities. It will help to have a new Mindset and be open to other cultural pluralities.

-Social Media & Online Courses: As the world is moving towards virtual realities we need to also start online courses. The topics could be: Sacred Scripture, Franciscan Theology, Constitutions, Ratio Formationis, Capuchin Charism and Human Sciences.

As we have many Capuchin Experts with sufficient qualifications the General Secretariat for Formation could animate these online programmes collaborating with other institutes and study centres of the Order.

-Franciscan Capuchin Spirituality Centres could be established in different countries where people can come to be inspired by the sessions, fraternal living, Franciscan studies, Spiritual animation and well-being related activities. Belgium is trying for one and they are seem to get a good response from people and friars.

General Secretariat for Formation, General Curia, Rome


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