Course for PACC formators, 2016
The course for formators took place in the Capuchin retreat center in the city of Lipa, Philippines, from December 5 to 15, 2016. Twenty-three friars participated in the meeting, from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Tanzania, Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Br. Eugenio, the Provincial Minister of the Philippines, was with us for some days, encouraging the participants with his evocative homilies and reflections. Br. Victorius Dwiardy, General Councilor for PACC Conference, arrived for the final evaluation. His presence was an encouragement for all the brothers.
During the first week, workshops on mass media and a Capuchin response were offered under the direction of Br. Joaquim Hangalo, IT Director of the General Curia. These meetings were an orientation toward a method for an ever more correct use of the mass media in the various stages of formation. The friars were also introduced to the world of the mass media and its challenges. Br. Charles Alphonse, General Secretary of Formation, guided the friars in an interior exploration that sought to identify the vital center which calls for our attention. In addition to this, the friars were able to benefit from a therapeutic meditation that leads one take his own past and his own strengths in hand. The culmination of this experience was a stepping beyond in interior exploration to an inner opening to the contemplation of God in a Franciscan way that allows one to reach a kind of harmonious integration.
Br. Jaime Rey, Vice General Secretary of Formation, helped the friars to venture into the world of Francis and Clare. The richness of a look into the world of Francis, his contemplation, crises, and his thirst for fraternity helped the friars to rekindle a Franciscan spirit of fraternity. Br. Jaime also provided some information on the preparation of the Ratio and its application.
Br. Cesar Acuin supplied information on how to organize programs of study and on the Capuchin formation process at each stage of formation. His experienced vision helped the formators to know the methods of Franciscan discernment and personal accompaniment.
Br. Joel de Jesus was a source of inspiration in his sharing of experiences of life on the peripheries, where he lives as a doctor with the indigenous people, sharing their experience and accompanying our student friars in experiences there. He also presented the work of the Capuchin Medical Mission.
Our brothers from the Capuchin retreat center were outstanding in Capuchin hospitality. It was a time of Franciscan and biblical updating, of studying the mass media and ethics, of personal growth and experiences of interiority and harmonious integration. The participants experienced ten days of fraternal life, contemplation, and of study on these themes, as well as interior exploration, in order to reach a harmonious spiritual integration in their daily lives. One day was also dedicated to an experience of the difficult situations on the peripheries, where we Capuchins serve according to the needs. There was also the opportunity to visit ‘Hidden Valley’; the friars, immersed in natural beauty, spent a day in silent contemplation. The vocation stories and group discussion on our themes helped the friars personalize the material. The participants were of the opinion that every formator should be able to benefit from such an experience.