Visioning and Planning Committee Finalizes Fraternal Gatherings

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Province’s Visioning and Planning Committee met Jan. 17 at the Washington Theological Union here to finalize the design of the upcoming of six Provincial Fraternal Gatherings that will be held between Feb. 12 and March 26.

The fraternal gatherings will move the Visioning and Planning process to the next stage. Building on the data assembled thus far, friars will discuss several scenarios for the Province’s preferred future. The days are designed to lead the friars to produce a set of priorities, considered in light of emerging cultural and demographic realities.

The committee met in Washington so that several committee members could be present prior to the meeting for the filming of a talk by Dr. Dean Hoge, a sociologist of religion at The Catholic University of America. Hoge’s talk, along with a talk by Franciscan scholar Br. William Short, OFM, of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., will be shown at each of the upcoming Fraternal Gatherings to provide a context for the conversation.

Hoge’s presentation describes important trends in the Church at the national level, while Short’s presentation focuses on the Franciscan context. Bill had been filmed in Denver the preceding week, during the annual meeting of the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.

Openings are available in four of the fraternal gatherings, according to Michael Harlan. Any friar who has not yet registered for one of the gatherings can do so by contacting either Michael or Sharon Berrios at the Provincial Office by or on Friday Feb. 9.

The gatherings with available space are listed below.  Details can be found in the Dec. 20 issue of HNP Today. 

* Feb. 26 to 28 in Tampa, Fla.
* March  6 to 8 in Mystic, Conn.
* March 12 to 14 in the Bronx, N.Y.
* March 26 to 28 in Tampa, Fla.

The next meeting of the Visioning and Planning Committee is scheduled for March 19 in New York City.