TOWARDS AN EFFECTIVE FRANCISCAN CONSECRATED LIFE TODAY
The Religious Congregations that follow the life and rule of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi are totally 52 with 165 Provinces with membership of around 50000 Religious priests, brothers and sisters. They are both cloistered and apostolic; serving through institutions as well as through their humble dwellings amidst the marginalised. Lot of Indian Franciscan Missionaries are spread out in Africa and other continents. There is still a great demand among the youth to follow Franciscan life.
The Association of Franciscan Families of India – AFFI has built up a strong structure at the National level, Regional/State levels and local levels. They come together for periodical reflections, seminars and updating their life of witness and Apostolates. The National executive council consists of the President Fr. A.J. Mathew OFM.Cap and Vice President Sr. Sinclare FCC, Secretary Sr. Apoline Cordiero UFS, Treasurer Fr. Praveen OFM.Cap and the National Programme Coordinator Fr. Nithiya ofm.cap. This team gathered in Mysore UFS house in Bogati on 18-19 October, 2015 and has come up with a plan for coming year.
The council reviewed the activities of the AFFI in the past one year of their four major National Training programmes, with follow ups at the Regional and Congregational levels. These workshops and seminars were focused on the Formators, Superiors, those in Educational apostolates, Health ministry and Social action. The council then focused on the forthcoming year of the Consecrated life, 2015. They are:
National Programme I: The Celebration of Franciscan Consecrated life and mission will be held in Veilankanni from 1-4 March, 2015 for all the provincials and their coordinators for the year of Consecrated life. This is a Training as well as live-in experience programme. The delegates from all over the country will be focusing on Vita Consecrata, Evanglii Gaudium, the document for the Year of Consecrated life.
National Programme-II: Renewal of Consecrated life based on the Rules and Manuals of Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Assisi. It will be held in Alwaye from August, 3-6, 2015 for all the Franciscan Religious following the Third Order of St. Francis. This programme is meant for Provincials, Those in charge of ongoing formation, Animators of Third Order, Retreat preachers, Franciscan Scholars etc
National Programme III: Campaign against Violence on women: This be held in September, 4th week in Bhopal for those involved in the apostolates of education, health and social welfare. The delegates will also focus on a strong network of Lawyers, Doctors, educationists, Inter religious leaders, Govt. Officials, NGOs, BCCs etc. at the national, Regional and local levels.
National Programme IV on Servant Leadership – Training & workshop based on the life and mission of St. Francis and St. Clare. This will be held in the first week of December, 2015 in Andhra or Goa. Special attention will be given to motivation, leadership skills, various types of leadership, prophetism, Servant leadership, Emotional Intelligence, etc.
Series of Regional Programmes at State level: Almost every state of India has a network of the Franciscan congregations. Soon after the first national programme, they will in turn come together to renew their consecrated life and mission through similar programme leading to concrete action plans in their apostolates. These will be held in their respective states and if needed in local language. These are focused on strengthening their vocation, witness and commitment to the poorest and the needy. A special focus will be to check on how to make our consecrated life effective in our Formation Stages, in the apostolates of Education, health and social welfare etc
National Programme Coordinator
Br. Nithiya ofm.cap
National programme Coordinator, Association of Franciscan Families of India – AFFI