28.10.2007 @ 10:08
Evangelium Observare: Final Message
St. Mary of the Angels, 28th October 2007
We, the Moderators of Ongoing Formation, have gathered over recent days in Assisi for our II International Congress. We come from all the Entities of the Order and, from the very beginning, had the joy of sensing the beauty of a fraternity which embraces every race, language and culture. These days, passed in a serene and joyful climate, have been a real process of Ongoing Formation in which we have been helped to improve the quality of our fraternal relationships, to appreciate the importance of the Community Life Project for our fraternal life and to focus our attention on the need for continuous personal growth so that our life may be always full of significance for us, for the Friars with whom we live and for all those we meet in the ministry we carry out daily.
It became evident that the identification of suitable keys and means which would facilitate our progress was an urgent task. We hope, therefore, that the new Document on Ongoing Formation, the result of what emerged, may be a useful instrument and a valid help so that we all may bring the indications found there down to the practical levels of our realities.
The rewriting of this Document, the previous edition was that of 1995, was not only motivated by the need to take into account the many things which emerged from our reflections as an Order during the last fifteen years, but also from our awareness of the changes in the historical-cultural situation in which we live and the need for a corresponding rethink of our style of life.
In drawing up the Document we sought to propose a vision of non-departmentalised ongoing formation, but rather one which would help to bring unity into our life. We, therefore, held that it was important to integrate some fundamental areas of our charism, such as the spirit of prayer and devotion, fraternity, evangelisation and mission, the commitment to justice, peace and the integrity of creation, dialogue, collaboration with the laity, etc., into the Document.
At the beginning of this third stage of preparation for the celebration of the VIII Centenary of the foundation of the Order, we wish to entrust this Message to you, Brothers, to you older men and to you who are ill, so that you may face this delicate moment of your existence with faith and, in this way, continue to be our teachers of life; to you younger Friars and you who have undertaken the way of Francis, so that you may always keep your enthusiasm alive and help us to face the future with courage; to you of a mature age, so that you may know how to remain always open to the challenges and changes which life calls on us to face. We also greet the Friars who live in situations of tension and difficulty in various parts of the planet, thus giving witness to the Gospel.
We return to our Provinces and Custodies with a desire in our hearts to communicate all that the Lord has given us to live during these days to you. At the end of this time, a spontaneous desire is born within us to give thanks for the gift of our vocation and for the wonders that the Lord does in each one of us and in our fraternities.
May the Lord give you peace!