On July 10-12, 2023, the third Franciscan Symposium took place at the São Bonaventura Institute (ISB) in Brasilia, Brazil. The event was focused on the Later Rule of St. Francis and its connections with issues concerning Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC).
The symposium was part of a winter course that was being conducted by the Union of Conventual Franciscans of Brazil (UCOB). The aim of the course was to broaden academic research on Franciscanism and Franciscan issues and to strengthen fraternal bonds between the Jurisdictions in Brazil and countries in Latin America, such as Venezuela and Bolivia, which send their friars to undertake initial formation at the São Francisco de Assis Formation House in Brasilia.
Friar Marcelo Borges Da Silva spoke on the topic, “Back to the Sources: From Inspiration to Institution.” Friar Michael Joseph Lasky, the General Delegate for JPIC, delved into the central theme, “The 800th Anniversary of the Later Rule and Its Reverberations in Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.” Finally, Friar Erick Marin Carballo spoke about his itinerant missionary experience in the Amazon region, serving with members of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM).
The event was also attended by formators, and students in the postulancy program and the pre-novitiate of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Brazil (which hosted this event), Secular Franciscans, benefactors, and friends and supporters of the Franciscan charism. The closing ceremony included cultural presentations led by the friars and the men in formation.
The discussions during this event gave everyone a chance to reflect on the Franciscan path of adherence to the Gospel and how to take that adherence into society. The participants also reflected on the contribution that Franciscanism can make in the pursuit of justice, the protection of our common home, and the deepening of the fraternal connections that our Order has made in Brazil.
– Friar João Vitor Gomes Da Fonseca