KRAKOW, Poland - The Rectors of Study Centres run by our Order in Europe met together for the third time in our friary at Olszanica (Krakow), from 22-24 February.
Br. Gianluigi Pasquale gave the opening talk on the subject of the Bologna Process. This is a Protocol, signed by some 40 countries in 2005, on co-operation in academic studies. It is not an institutional agreement, rather a statement of intent to work together. Each participating academic institution, including Capuchin centres, will now have to comply with the terms of the agreement and adopt an agreed way of recording academic credits.
The second presentation was given by Br. Thomas Dienberg, on the theme of secularisation, a summary of the findings of last November’s Madrid Symposium on the subject. Secularisation should be seen as a challenge and a resource, rather than always viewing it as an enemy from which we need to protect ourselves. There are Franciscan responses in terms of how we teach and how we learn, and in the way of responding to the questions posed by a widespread secularised culture. The Symposium was also a wonderful opportunity for the friars to debate together, but also to pray and to share important moments in the journey that has been under way for several years now in many of the Provinces. All were grateful to God for this profound experience and for the fruits which the Spirit will doubtless produce, thanks to the new initiatives we all desire and can surely expect.
Participants included Brothers Rocco Timpano, Piero Veliz, Prince Valiyakunnel and Marek Miszczynski of the General Secretariat for Formation; Alfredo Marchello as translator, Pier Giorgio Taneburgo from Bari (Italy), Gianluigi Pasquale from Venice, Thomas Dienberg from Muenster, Luca Bianchi from the Franciscan Spirituality Institute in Rome, Jaime Rey from Madrid, Tomasz Zak from Krakow, Franco Ritirossi and Antonio Bagnulo from Viterbo.