Thoughts from Your Regional Formation Director - June 2018

Greetings to you my sisters and brothers in Christ and Saint Francis of Assisi.

All peace and good be with you! It appears that spring has actually arrived and we are now heading towards summer! It is time to pick up where we left off in April, our discussion about Initial Formation and in particular, Inquiry.

I have already said initial formation doesn’t formally start until Inquiry, although Orientation is very important. We are helping a person to get to know the “Franciscan” language and some of our customs. But the real meat of formation starts in Inquiry and never ends! As we said in April, during Inquiry, it is essential that all of the “Admission Documents” be collected and reviewed with the formation team and council. The goal should be that by the end of Inquiry, the indications of a vocation to the Franciscan life should be easy to see by the individual, and the council. Although individuals and the council may discover otherwise during Candidacy that should be the exception not the rule. Candidacy should be a time of continued discernment and seeking and learning that which is already loved!

Inquiry formally starts with the very simply “Ceremony of Welcome” it is in the Secular Franciscan Ritual (sometime called the Brown Book)1. It should be noted that it is not a Rite and should not be done in the context of liturgy, or liturgy of the hours. It should be performed during the regular gathering time after prayer.

I have mentioned several times that the Formation Team and or council should discuss the individual’s progress at the normal monthly council meetings. They should also be praying for the individuals. During Inquiry, there should be at least two opportunities for the individuals to talk to the council and the council to talk to them. This can be done in very creative ways so it is not so stressful for everyone. In my local fraternity, we typically have a BBQ or some sort of Potluck with the formation team, council and those in Inquiry in order to have some quality time with all.

Next month we will continue the discussion on Inquiry and tips on progressing thru the process.

Pax et Bonum
Peace and all Good
Ted Bienkowski, OFS
SKD Region Formation Director

1Ritual of the Secular Franciscan Order: page 9





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