INTER – FRANCISCAN MINISTERS’ CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES’ ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The Porziuncola, Inter-Franciscan Formation Center, Paenaan, Baras, Rizal
November 7 – 9, 2014
This was the venue for the three-day Annual Inter-Franciscan Ministers’ Conference of the Philippines held last November 7-9, 2014. With the peaceful lush of the garden, the Ministers of the different Franciscan Congregations and Mission Partners from the Franciscan Movement for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (FMJPIC), Franciscan Health Care-Crossing Borders Inc. (FHCCBI), Comprehensive Course on Franciscan Mission Charism (CCFMC), Franciscan Institute of Asia (FIA), Fellowship for the Care of Creation Association, Inc. (FCCAI), Secular Franciscan Order (OFS), MZF Projects Coordination Office (Mizzioncentrale) and Franciscan Dialogue Program (FDP) felt so at home communing with Mother Nature as they went through their serious and profound deliberations.
Since it is the Year of the Laity, the topic, “The Role of Religious Life in Lay Empowerment and theDeclericalization of the Lay” was indeed fitting and relevant. Sr. Marie Teresita Bravo, SFIC served as the moderator, and
Fr. Percival Bacani, MJ was the Resource Speaker.
He posed the following challenges:
1. The missionary and charismatic integration of the laity with religious is a gift of the Holy Spirit for the whole Church. Such integration depends however on the genuine renewal and revitalization of both the laity and of the consecrated life itself. To be able to achieve one’s mission and a life shared with the laity, we have to meet them in our charisms, which are for us and for them, the common source of living water to irrigate the field of shared mission and spirituality.
2. What we share is a charism in its twofold dimension : mission and life/spirituality. It requires different steps :collaboration, participation and belonging.
3. Points for reflection to mull on:
· Where do you locate your Franciscan identity and spirituality today?
· How do you re-imagine religious life/ laity today?
· What basically do we need to let go of ?
The last day was spent listening to the reports of the Chairperson, the Treasurer, and the Mission Partners. The three day conference was climaxed in a mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Lino Gregorio V. Redoblado, OFM, Chair, IFMCP. Salient points of his homily were as follows:
1. The theme for the three day conference should disturb
and shatter one's complacencies,
2. The “wells” of compassion for others through ministries be sustained, and
3. Areas of empowerment and collaboration
with the lay be re-defined and pursued.
* Continue being “wells” for others,
* Risk without fear in creating missions,
* Pursue work of collaboration,
* Go beyond the dualistic paradigms
of authority and power,
*Recognize being “lesser” brothers and sisters
subject to one another,
* Be at ease with having no identity,
* Be less immersed in
rather, spend more time
among the poor,
* Wake up from your comfortable
* Rise up from the evangelical
anemia or amnesia.