Ongoing Formative Course of CONCAO in Benin
As being with the needy and the poor is part of our way of living the Capuchin Charism, we had a possibility to realise that on 15th of august 2015. On that day our participants visited the San Camille Oasis d'amour, St. Padre Pio centre, (Avrankou) in Porto-nuovo. It is a care centre for people with mental illness. Two of our student friars are there for exposure programme. This centre houses around 250 mentally ill-disposed persons (both men and women). In the past 11 years, this centre has cared for more than 13 thousand people with mental challenges, although they have very limited infrastructure they are able to reach out to this most deserving people of the society in a very fraternal and professional way. We spent quality time there socializing with them, one of the animators briefed us about its importance and challenges. It was an inspirational possibility for our participants to be closer to these people of the periphery, most of them are picked up from the streets. They do a great service to the humanity and much more to be done in this direction. Pope Francis is right in telling us that we have to be in touch with the periphery of our society.
Course Inspirations: We the Franciscans, need to deepen our theological and spiritual base. Franciscan theologians like Duns Scotus always attempted to project the image of God as a loving person who comes to our level with his unconditional gratuitous love. While other contemporary schools were insistent more on considering man as a helpless sinner, Franciscan School viewed man as a specially loved person by the gratuitously loving God. The world created by this loving God is a cosmic fraternity and invites us all to share in this loving brotherhood and further build the humanity by our simple way of life.
In formation it is not only the 'formator-incharge' who has to struggle to form the formees but rather the 'formative fraternity' which has to jointly involve. Life examples will make the formative process very easy and it will touch the student friars more. The challenge for us is to prepare a formative community which is single-mindedly committed to work together as a team.
Digital World: 'Social media calls us to pay attention,' was the call of Br. Joaquim Hangalo an expert in Information Technology from General Curia. He introduced the participants to the Medial world and situated his reflection in our fraternal context. We have two group of friars existing among us. One is digital immigrants (those born before 1985) and the other is digital natives (those who were born after 1985). There is a big divide between these two groups. Genuine dialogue among the members and openness to enrich one another will help. Above all in the proper use of the mass-media that we are surrounded with, we need values and proper knowledge of its advantage and limits. A true formator cannot be blind to the call of the media world if he has to truly understand the world of the formees.
Update for not to be outdated: We need good preparation to know our Franciscan history and make it relevant to today's context. Without updating we will become outdated. The modern challenges of mass media, cultural upheavals, globalization posses a challenge where one could be lost in the crowd. As Franciscans, the need here is to focus on our priorities, become aware of the areas in which we need to spend more energy and keep away from things that will not help. Strengthening the inner person with the contemplation of Christ, spirituality and being connected to the people will make us true Capuchin Franciscans.
Animators: Kilian, Joaquim Hangalo, Jaime Rey & Charles Alphonse
Do you agree to this statement?
Updating everyday our knowledge about Social Media, Bible, Spirituality and other fields is not a luxury but a necessity.