Rome - The fraternity of the General Curia usually begins Advent with a day of spiritual retreat. This year it was held on the Monday after the First Sunday (November 30th). But it was a special kind of retreat due to the pandemic. In fact, the designated preacher was suddenly prevented from coming personally to Rome. Then the friars, adapting to current practices used in much of the world today, participated in two conferences online with Fra Luca Bianchi, the preacher for the retreat. The morning conference was dedicated to the theological virtue of hope, while the afternoon to the virtue of faith.
Br. Luca is dean of the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality at the Pontifical University Antonianum, where he is also a professor and vice-rector.
The friars spent the day of retreat in prayer, not in a virtual but a very real way in the chapel of the Curia, where at noon they participated in the Eucharist presided over by Br. Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher of the Papal Household and soon to be created cardinal by Pope Francis.
The day ended with vespers and Eucharistic adoration.
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!