The Secular Franciscan Formation Process
of the Ongoing Formation Phase
is to support the professed members’ commitment, and to strengthen their Franciscan vocation so that the ongoing conversion process will continue as a lifestyle.
Other opportunities for Ongoing Formation include:
- “Begun by the preceding stages, the formation of the brothers and sisters takes place in a permanent and continuous way. It should be understood as an aid in the conversion of each and everyone and in the fulfillment of their proper mission in the Church and in society” (General Constitutions, article 44.1).
- Ongoing Formation is a process of renewal for the entire Fraternity by which we are encouraged and challenged to live our vocation in the actual situations and contingencies of daily living.
- Ongoing Formation is the outgrowth of proper Initial Formation, realizing that we are in a continual process of conversion and growth all the days of our life.
- Ongoing Formation necessarily includes additional information and updating in various areas of spirituality, and deepening of our commitment to the Gospel life. None of us ever completes formation; it is a lifelong process.
Monthly Fraternity gatherings are the ordinary place for Ongoing Formation.
Suggested content for the Ongoing Formation phase:
- retreats – days of renewal
- community celebrations – interaction between fraternities
- interaction with the Friars, the Poor Clares, the Third Order Religious
- attendance at Regional and National gatherings – workshops and seminars
- the Prologue to the SFO Rule (the Volterra Letter) – a detailed study of the 1978 OFS Rule
- writings of Francis, Clare, Bonaventure, Duns Scotus and other Franciscan women and men
- Franciscan history – articles from CIOFS – papal encyclicals, apostolic letters and statements – pastoral statements from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
- official documents and statements of the Franciscan Family – detailed study of the OFS Ritual and General Constitutions of the OFS – International, National and Regional statutes – other Franciscan prayer experiences (for example, the Office of the Passion) – experiencing each other’s apostolates