Chapter II Agents of Formation Guidelines for Initial Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter II Agents of Formation Guidelines for Initial Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States


... it arrives at the light which knows no setting. (Lumen gentium #8 and #9) Formation A continuous process of conversion of candidates and members of the SFO. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter II Agents of Formation Guidelines for Initial Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States

Chapter II Agents of FormationGuidelines for
Initial Formationin the Secular Franciscan
Orderin the United States

Vatican II calls for ongoing con-version in the
life of the Church
  • The Church, containing sinners in its own bosom,
    is at one and the same time holy and always in
    need of purification and it pursues increasingly
    penance and renewal under the action of the
    Holy Spirit, it does not cease from renewing
    itself until, through the cross, it arrives at
    the light which knows no setting. (Lumen gentium
    8 and 9)

  • A continuous process of conversion of candidates
    and members of the SFO.
  • A personalized procedure involving
  • the totality of the human person,
  • the charism and
  • the spiritual growth of the person.
  • In the process of formation, there is a necessary
    interaction between those forming and those who
    are being formed all are continually being
    formed and are forming one another.

  • General Constitutions Article 37.2
  • Mindful that the Holy Spirit is the principal
    agent of formation and always attentive with
    collaboration with Him, those responsible for
    formation are the candidate, the entire
    fraternity, the council with the minister, the
    master of formation, and the assistant.

Agents of Formation
  1. The Holy Spirit
  2. The Candidate
  3. The Local Fraternity
  4. The Fraternity Council
  5. The Formation Director and the Formation Team
  6. The Spiritual Assistant
  7. The Sponsor
  8. Higher Levels of Fraternity

A. THE HOLY SPIRITThe Primary Agent of
  • The Holy Spirit
  • calls and prompts human beings to holiness,
  • inspires and conforms us to the image of the Son,
  • draws us into the Franciscan Family, and
  • is the primary agent of formation.

Candidate must
  • be open to the Spirit, and to the Word of God
  • become more aware of the importance of prayer and
    of spiritual direction
  • to hear,
  • to seek,
  • to understand
  • the action of the Spirit
  • in the Church and
  • in the Fraternity

  • General Constitutions Article 37.3
  • The brothers and sisters are responsible for
    their own formation, developing in an ever more
    perfect way the vocation received from the Lord.

B. THE CANDIDATE The Primary Responsibility
  • The candidate, who is the center around whom
    every formation activity revolves, bears the
    primary responsibility for his/her own spiritual
    growth, and shares and interacts in the formation

1. Formation the development of the total
human personality
  • Formation is not instruction alone, but rather
    the development of the total human personality
    which must be loved, respected and understood.
  • Formation is the process of a gradual unfolding
    of a persons identity as a child of God.

  • Certain consequences follow from this
  • Candidates
  • Self-Formation
  • Contribution
  • Disposition

A) Self-formation
  • is primary in the development of the adult
    person, and
  • this reality must be communicated to the
    candidate by the Formation Team.

B) The candidate brings to the Fraternity
  • natural abilities and values, and
  • supernatural gifts
  • which enrich all the sisters and brothers in
    their mutual sharing of Gospel experiences.

C) The candidate
  • is a free person
  • who seeks to follow Christ Jesus in the
    footprints of St. Francis and
  • through a process of discernment,
  • strives to clarify his/her own vocation to the
    Secular Franciscan Order.

General Constitutions Article 38.1
  • The time of initiation is intended for the
    discernment of the vocation and for the
    reciprocal acquaintance between the fraternity
    and the aspiring member.
  • It should generate the freedom and the
    seriousness of entrance into the SFO.

2. Requirements for Membership (Gen. Const.
Art. 39.2)
  • Freedom from impediments as found in the General
    Constitutions and in the Code of Canon Law.
  • To show clear signs (positive indications) of a

Positive indications of a vocation
  • A strong desire for conversion and spiritual
  • A spirit of hope and optimism
  • A spirit of renewal and a desire for updating
  • A good sense of humor, common sense, and the
    proven ability to get along with others
  • A whole-hearted dedication to Christ and the
    Church which is both personal and ecclesial
  • A desire to study the spirit of Franciscanism.

3. Expectations of the Fraternity and the
Formation Director/Team
  • A willingness
  • To take an active part
  • in dialogue and study,
  • in the Formation process and
  • in the life of the Fraternity
  • To share
  • talents, charism and gifts,
  • both personal and material,
  • with the Fraternity and with others
  • And ability of being the active agent of their
    own formation and personal spiritual growth.

  • The local Fraternity has a special place in the
    Formation process since "the entire community is
    engaged in this process of growth by its own
    manner of living" (SFO RULE 23).
  • The fraternity is called to help the brothers
    and sisters in their journey by means of a warm
    welcome, prayer and example. (Gen. Const. Art.

1. The shared life experience of the local
  • Is a continuous formative experience shared by
    all the members, both candidates and professed.

Some elements in this formation process are
  • Personal interaction with the sisters and
    brothers of the Fraternity
  • Sharing of lived experiences in our Franciscan
    way of life
  • The continuous formation and education process of
  • Fraternity prayer and reflection, Retreats, Days
    of Recollection, Franciscan Community
  • Sharing in common ministries and apostolic

2. A formative or educating community
  • The Local Fraternity is truly a formative or
    educating community when it presents itself as
  • a warm, human group an extended family and a
    primary support group for all the members
  • a living ecclesial community celebrating the
    mystery of salvation
  • an opportunity to experience fraternity in the
    Franciscan tradition

2. A formative or educating community (Cont.)
  • a community open to other ecclesial communities,
    cooperating with them in the work of the Kingdom
    of God
  • a Christian community striving to be a basic
    ecclesial community (BEC) in the correct
    theological sense by engaging its members in
    worship, education, ministry, communication and

Discussion Questions
  • Give an example of when you felt the Holy Spirit
    directly call, inspire, draw or influencing you.
    How did you know?
  • How can you assist a candidate in discerning a
    vocation? Give some examples.
  • Share some ideas as to how you discerned your
    vocation or that of someone in your fraternity.
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