The General Secretariat for Formation (SGF), in the persons of Br Charles Alphonse and Br Jaime Rey, convened the International Formation Council (CIF) in Rome, at the General Curia, from 23 to 29 September. This assembly was doubly important: first because it was the last Council before the General Chapter of 2024; and then because the main theme was the Ratio Formationis and its implementation in the different realities of the Order.
The objective, in fact, was to verify how and to what extent the criteria proposed in the document have been incorporated not only globally but also and above all at the local level. For this reason, at the express request of the Minister General, Brother Roberto Genuin, an Instrumentum laboris was produced to provide guidance in view of the next General Chapter (August-September 2024). Inside the Instrumentum were condensed the reflections of the week's work on different topics: first of all, the impact of the Ratio on the Conferences; then, the situation of the post-novitiate and specific initial formation; the Ratio Formationis localis and the different formation models present in the Order; the collaboration in the area of initial formation and the formation of formators - with the Schola Fratrum project; finally, the interpretation of the statistics of the entries and exits of the brothers. Regarding this last point, much was said about how to deal with the issue of drop-outs, which can tell us so much about the goodness of our formation and the aspects to be taken care of more. In the end, the CIF decided to take into consideration the data of the first 5 years of Brother Roberto Genuin's mandate (2017-2022), to be collected from the various Circumscriptions in order to make a mainly qualitative reading. Also with regard to the Ratio Formationis, an online questionnaire on the document was planned, to be sent to all the brothers as a verification of their knowledge of it and its implementation.
The methodology of the meeting followed the same pattern for all the days: both in the morning and in the afternoon, the Councillors would meet in the hall for a prayer and a brief opening address by the Secretariat with the presentation of the theme; then there was the moment of meeting by continents, where they reflected on the proposed topic; they returned to the hall to share what had emerged and, finally, some space was given for personal interventions in the assembly.
In addition to Brother Charles - who spoke of the importance of human formation in our Order - and Brother Jaime - who illustrated the theme of charismatic formation -, the Minister General also took the floor: he urged the members of the Council to reflect in depth on the main nuclei of the Ratio, comparing them with the concrete life of the various Circumscriptions. Without this reflection, he forcefully affirmed, one cannot morally arrive at the Chapter, because it is the document on whose values the Capitulars of 2018 unanimously agreed and which constitute our identity as Capuchin Friars Minor.
Mauro Scoccia OFMCap
Secretary for the CIF