Province Offers La Verna Program Trip for Friars

HNP Communications Around the Province

NEW YORK – As preparation for the VIII centenary of the founding of the Order of Friars Minor, the Province encourages friars to participate in The La Verna Program, a 10-day self-reflective retreat/renewal program. 

The retreat provides each friar with a prayerful and fraternal context to reflect on his inner spirit, his understanding of the vowed life in the contemporary world, his life and ministry, and his evangelizing mission in the days and years ahead.

The 10-day pilgrimage of renewal is planned for Oct. 9 to 20, to Rome, Greccio, Assisi, La Verna, and Bagnoregio. 

According to a letter distributed by the Ongoing Formation Committee to friars in February, the Minister General and his Council challenged the friars to embrace this “opportunity of grace” and make a “creative and suitable response.” They suggested a “path of preparation,” an itinerary during which friars once again accept the grace of their vocation, dare to live it more boldly, and restore the Franciscan way of life through renewed witness.

At the 2005 Chapter, the capitulars recommended that the Ongoing Formation Committee pursue development of a renewal program for Province friars. The pilgrimage is for members of the Province and is limited to 15 friars.  While the pilgrimage of renewal will include time at some of the most sacred, and perhaps to some, familiar historical places, the input, reflections and discussions will focus on friars’ individual and fraternal spiritual journeys, according to F. Edward Coughlin, who is organizing and leading the pilgrimage.  There, the input, reflections and discussions will focus on the individual and fraternal spiritual journey. 

A brochure includes more detailed information on airfare, lodging, ground transportation and meals, as well as the proposed itinerary. Some arrangements are still being finalized. Private rooms are available. The Province’s Ongoing Formation policy stipulates that the Province may be asked to cover half the program expense. If financial constraints further limit a local fraternity’s ability to support participation, friars may request additional financial assistance by contacting Edward.

Members of the Ongoing Formation Committee are Michael Carnevale, OFM, David Convertino, OFM, John Frambes, OFM, Thomas Hartle, OFM  and Daniel Lanahan, OFM.