THE NATIONAL FRATERNITY OF THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER, USA
NATIONAL FORMATION COMMISSION REPORT
Detroit, October 2004
From: National Formation Commission
To: National Fraternity Council
Dates:October 2003 through September 2004
1. Appointments to the National Formation Commission - (December 2003)
Carlos Calderone, SFO and Deacon Oscar Perez, SFO invited to join the Commission for a one-year discernment period and both accepted.
Claire Breen, SFO completed her one-year discernment period, was offered reappointment for an additional two-year period, and Claire accepted.
2. International Formation Request for Information and Materials - (January 2004)
Response prepared and submitted to inquiry of Benedetto Lino, OFS regarding the status of the formation process in the United States. In addition, resources and texts were sent to the International Fraternity for review. Teresa and Anne met with Mr. Lino while in Assisi to confer on formation-related issues.
3. National Formation Commission Meetings (Two)
3(a)Formation Meeting, Aston, PA - (April 2004)
Points of discussion at Formation Meeting:
+ Discussion as to whether we should have yearly meetings for all newly elected/appointed regional formation directors to go over basics of formation with them.
+ Preparation of a two-track approach for the All Commissions; one pertaining to initial formation and the other to ongoing formation.
+ National Formation Commission Mission Statement revised and subsequently approved by the National Executive Council.
+ New assignments made regarding pairing commission members with assigned regional formation directors. Its purpose is to offer regional formation directors personal access to a commission member and to cultivate open communication. The addition of two new commissioners necessitated the reordering of assignments.
+ To reduce printing and mailing costs, it was decided that we would send periodic mailing electronically whenever possible. Those without e-mail will receive a hard copy.
3(b) Formation Meeting- Libertyville, IL - (September 2004)
Points of discussion and decision at Formation Meeting:
+ We will prepare and send a "Needs Assessment" Questionnaire to all Regional Formation Directors.
+ We will discontinue writing Digests since numerous materials and texts exist that can be recommended and used for ongoing formation.
+ We will ask for Regional sponsorship of future National Formation Meetings asking the Region to find a meeting place and provide some transportation. In return, the National Formation Commission will devote a part of a day to addressing the sponsoring Region needs and concerns.
+ We will develop a plan of Formation for the Newly Professed.
+ We will be proactive in our desire to "Form the Formators" and will make ourselves available to clusters of Regions.
+ With the assistance of Vickie Klick, the Formation Handbook will be added to the Formation website. The Handbook will be translated into Spanish by Commission member Deacon Oscar Perez and then available on the web.
+ A Formation-List Serve for National Formation Commission members and Regional Formation Directors is a project for the near future.
4.All Commissions Conference, Denver
National Formation Commission Two-Track Approach
4(a) Track One (Content)
+ (1) What a good formation program might look like; (2) the new timelines for formation; (3) the qualities a formation director should possess; (4) how are adults formed as opposed to taught; (5) how personality differences affect assimilating information and formation; (6) discerning who should or who should not continue in initial formation. In addition, questions raised from the floor were addressed through round-table discussion.
4(b) Track Two (Content)
+ (1) Overview of the concept of on-going formation; (2) the next step in the continuing drama of personal conversion; (3) blending Franciscan spiritual masters into a fresh understanding of living our Rule; (4) being continually challenged to make the charism of Francis known to our world; and (5) merging essential components of formation into the time allotted.
5. The CORD
Arrangement regarding the focus of the May-June issue of The Cord
Teresa collaborated with Sr. Roberta McKelvie gathering articles for the May-June issue of The Cord. Articles were taken from several of the presentations given at St. Bonaventure seminar, The Blessing of Penance, June 2003. Article submitted by Vinal Van Benthem, Anne Mulqueen, and Fr. Richard Trezza. Sr. Margaret Carney supplied a bibliography pertaining to the new understanding of The Letter to the Faithful, the Prologue to our Rule.
Article Submitted to The Cord for the May-June Issue (February 2004)
Written by Anne based on her presentation, The Blessing of Penance, delivered at the St. Bonaventure Seminar, honoring Fr. Robert Stewart in June 2003.
Selecting articles for May/June Issue of The CORD Magazine, 2005, focusing on keynotes at ACC and globalization
Article Submitted to TAU-USA (April, 2004);
Article Written for May-June Issue of The Cord;
Assisting Fr. Lester Bach, OFM Cap. with the publication of his new book, Pick More Daisies;
To Set Themselves Free will be available in early 2005;
Come and See in Spanish is in final stages of translation;
7.Seasonal Mailing, Advent - National Formation Commission (December 2003)
Focus: Reading and reflection material designed to prepare the Regional Formation Directors for the All Commissions Conference to be held in Denver, June 2004. This mailing was also sent to the Regional Ministers, National Fraternity Executive Council, Conference of National Spiritual Assistants, the National Fraternity Commissions Coordinator and Commissions' Chairs.
Anne Presentations: (1) Day of Recollection for St. Joseph Cupertino Fraternity, Margaret of Cortona Region, November 2003; (2) Day of Recollection for Portiuncula Fraternity, Margaret of Cortona Region, January 2004; (3) Chapter of Mats, Margaret of Cortona Region, July 2004.
Teresa - Preparation of materials for a workshop for formators to be given by Rena Xuereb in Albuquerque.
9. Ongoing Formation for NFC Co-Chairs
Franciscan Forum (February 26 - 29, 2004)
Topic: "Go, Repair My House." Teresa and Anne attended and participated in all sessions. The knowledge and materials acquired will be made available to all involved in the formative process through mailings, writings, presentations, etc.
Upcoming Ongoing formation
Anne: Journey into God Retreat
Teresa: Naming the Exchange: Today's Formative Challenges in Light of the Insights of John duns Scotus; Scottsdale, AR. April 12-17, 2005
Dated: September 20, 2004
Teresa V. Baker, SFO
Co-Chair, National Formation Commission
Anne H. Mulqueen, SFO
Co-Chair, National Formation Commission