LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Friars from all English-speaking Conference provinces are invited to the 2018 interprovincial retreat, being held at Holy Cross Retreat Center. The event, scheduled for Jan. 8 to 12, is titled “And the Lord Gave Me Brothers” and will feature as presenter Fr. Matthew Beckmanm, OFM, of the Province of the Holy Spirit in Australia.
Friars from all OFM provinces are welcome to attend, according to an informational flyer. It describes the event as one in which participants can “look again at our common story of our beginnings as brothers, but to retell it in the absence of Francis. Francis can sometimes be like a bright torch that gives light, to be sure, but also dazzles our eyes, making it hard to see what is around us.”
Fr. Matthew, who has worked in formation and justice, peace and integrity and creation, is a native of Melbourne, where he teaches systemic theology and church history at the Australian University of Divinity.
Over the years, a variety of friars have led the interprovincial retreats. The leaders of the 2017 interprovincial retreats were Bill Beaudin, OFM, Fr. Richard McManus, OFM, of St. Barbara Province, and Fr. Page Polk, OFM, of St. John the Baptist Province, who served for two years as members of the Franciscan Interprovincial Team, facilitating the restructuring discussions.
The interprovincial retreats have been held for more than 25 years.
“The real value of the retreat is that it is an affirmation of the fact that the friars are members of a worldwide Order,” said Br. Bruce Michalek, OFM, chair of the Interprovincial Retreat Committee. “It allows the participants to experience fraternity on a national level. Friars are friars, regardless of their province affiliation.”
Friars wishing to attend the retreat, which is sponsored by the OFM provinces of the United States, should register by Dec. 18. Information can be obtained from Br. Bruce, a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, at email@example.com.
Las Cruces is roughly 45 minutes from the El Paso, Texas, airport, and is a three-hour drive south of Albuquerque, where friars can obtain free transportation to and from the retreat site.
- Province of the Holy Spirit website
- “U.S. Friars Find Common Ground at Interprovincial Gatherings” – July 27, 2016, HNP Today
- “New Franciscan Archives Opened in New Mexico” – March 23, 2016, HNP Today