The Pan-American Meeting of Capuchin Formandi concluded last Sunday, August 1st. The friars participated in four stages: a first meeting with the friars of all America, a second meeting by circumscription, and the third meeting by conference, to reflect on what was proposed in the first stage. The last meeting was the moment to present these reflections.

After the welcome by Bro. Anthony from Panama, Bro. Silvio de Almeida, General Councilor of the CCB, welcomed the participants and spoke again of the pleasure of seeing this meeting take place. “It fills us with joy to know that the Pan-American Conference is a moment of true renewal of our charism here in the Americas,” said Brother Silvio.

Afterward, the formandi began to share what they had reflected on in groups, contributing to the diagnosis of how a Capuchin lives in these lands and helping to define the new steps to follow. Among the points highlighted was the desire to assume an identity that takes into account all the cultural aspects of the realities in which they find themselves, because of a dialogue that favors an effective missionary presence.

The formandi also emphasized the plurality of the delegations that favor the experience and promotion of interculturality. Therefore, according to the proposals made, given a revision of structures and actions, it would be even better to have a fraternal and pastoral presence that favors this cultural aspect, overcoming barriers.

At the end of the session, Br. José Ángel, Vicar General of the Order, made his contribution, speaking of the need to use our strength to overcome the barriers that separate us from the different realities. According to José Ángel, the basis for this progress is dialogue, through which “we open ourselves to new realities, people and ideas”.

Finally, the Vicar General also spoke of how much the Order has gained from the new modality of the Pan-American Conference. One of these benefits is the participation of friars who would not be called to the meeting, as would be the case of those in formation. But for this to be even more fruitful, it is necessary to embrace the Pan-American as a cause “so that it is not just a beautiful meeting, but something concrete”, Jose Angel said.

Formandi as Protagonists

In addition to those who appeared in the video explaining the reflections, the brothers in formation sang songs such as Alma Misionera (a hit on social media), and La Guadalupana, a tribute to the Virgin of Guadalupe. In addition, one video presented a compilation of the week of meetings in the circumscriptions and conferences, and in another, the friars appeared with the traditional fraternal greeting of Peace and Good!

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