The first continental meeting for the Ratio formationis Ordinis, for America and Australia, was held from July 10 to 14 in Guatemala City. Forty-two Capuchin friars participated from all the circumscriptions of the continents and the four Conferences: CONCAM, CCA, CCB, and NAPCC. The meeting was organized by the General Secretariat of Formation of the Order and by the members of the International Formation Council for the respective Conferences: Br. Evandro da Sousa, Br. Juan Pablo Lobos, Br. Prospero Arciniegas, and Br. Robert Williams.
On the first day, guided by Br. Charles Alphonse and Br. Jaime Rey, the current progress of the Ratio was presented. The objective of the continental meeting was to ‘build together,’ beginning from certain essential elements, namely affectivity, inter-culturality, and the Ratio studiorum.
On the second day, Br. Charles Alphonse took the role of facilitator on the theme of affectivity. Beginning from a conscientious and positive perspective, Br. Mark Schenk, General Councilor, offered a point of view that was both positive and challenging.
The third day was on theme of inter-culturality, with Br. Mauro Jöhri, General Minister of the Order, as facilitator. The richness of a culture consists in being able to give of oneself and to recognize one’s own identity while at the same time being open to enrichment from other cultures.
In this sense our Order has an ‘enriching challenge’: to find paths to incarnate and enculturate the charism of our Order while avoiding the importation of cultural blocks where a culture is already flourishing. When it comes to the ‘evangelization’ of culture and of cultures, a healthy discernment is necessary. Br. Mariosvaldo Florentino presented on this very topic.
The fourth day was given to studying the question of the Ratio studiorum. The reflection, led by Br. Jaime Rey, took up the challenges in intellectual formation, not only as a deposit of technical knowledge, but as a resource that is able to shake up one’s life.
Friday was dedicated to fraternal togetherness and an opportunity, in part, to get to know the culture and spirit of the Guatemalan people. At the end there was an evaluation of the meeting, which will be useful for the coming meetings in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Let us give thanks to God for our vocation!