For the first time, the Formators of the three branches of the First Order (Friars Minors, Friars Minor Conventuals, and Friars Minor Capuchin) from the Anglophone and Francophone countries of Africa came together at the instance of the General Ministers of the First Orders for a two-week course on Formation. This even took place at the Padre Pio capuchin Friary, Ibadan – Oyo State Nigeria from August 7-19, 2017 and was facilitated by the Secretariat for Formation of the Capuchins, Rome.
The course provided a good opportunity for fraternal sharing among the Formators of the three different Franciscan families, an experience that is both formative and enriching in itself. The theme was centred on the need to become ‘Passionately Optimistically Integrated Franciscan.” The theme was harmonized in a way that the psycho-spiritual, pedagogical, biblical and theological perspectives were all integrated. A practical experience with the poor at the periphery was remarkable. The group sharing, discussions, feedbacks, interventions, questions and answers all contributed to make for a rich methodology.
The Formators of the three branches of the First Order unanimously agreed on the need to collaborate as one family and to have two Franciscan Institutes of studies in affiliation with the Pontifical Franciscan University for all members of the three branches in Africa, one center for the Anglophone Countries and another for the Francophone Countries where studies of philosophy and theology can be done by students of the three branches in Africa.