Franciscan School of Formation for Formators in Africa
It has been a wonderful experience in Nairobi (Kenya) for two weeks as close to seventy Formators comprised of animators and coordinators (15 Conventuals, 29 OFMs, 28 Capuchins and 2 TORs) from all over Africa have attended the second part of the Franciscan School of Formation for Formators in Africa (FSFFA) which went on from Monday 24th June to Saturday 06th July 2019 at the St. Joseph Spiritual Centre (Karen- Nairobi). This Second part of the course, themed, “Deepening Year” explored in depth the various dimensions of Franciscan Formation in order to equip the friars in their work of accompanying the formees.
The three General Secretariats of formation (OFM, OFMCap and OFMConv) coordinated the formation course and gave various enriching inputs both from them and other resource persons they integrated to help them. In addition to morning classes, group work took place every afternoon, well arranged in such a way that it fostered true and genuine discussions among Formators.
Furthermore, from a fraternal perspective, these days in Nairobi have been marked with deep and meaningful interactions among the friars: liturgy, meals, common recreation, as well as the peak fraternal moment of the visit to the slum of Deep Sea – West Land.
Lastly, from the point of view of intercultural formation, to be among the Friars of different countries, cultures and Franciscan families was useful to deepen an understanding of different perspectives and it has helped to dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups. Cultural diversity helped to respect and recognize new knowledge, new language skills and new ways of thinking. Instead of being a limitation, cultural diversity can make a unique and positive contribution in empowering community living.
At the end of the course, the participants greeted each other looking forward to the third and final part of the course next year 2020.
(Hearty Thanks to Br. Cesare Vaiani OFM for this article)