On Saturday, March 4, 2023, the tenth annual School of Franciscanism course concluded in Florence, Italy. The course was organized by the Franciscan Movement Organization or “MoFra” of Tuscany.
Classes for the course were conducted face to face from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. every Saturday afternoon between February 4 and March 4, 2023. They were held at the San Francesco Church located in Piazza Savoranola in Florence. Between ninety and one hundred and twenty attendees were present at each class. Another thirty participants attended online using the Zoom Internet platform. Thus, anyone living outside of Florence, or anyone unable to attend in person, had a chance to participate. The theme of this year’s course was: “The 800th Anniversary of the Rule and the Christmas at Greccio.”
The School of Franciscanism was co-founded in 2013, by Friar Paolo FANTACCINI (then the OFM Minister Provincial of Tuscany) and the late Stefano MINIATI (OFS Regional Minister of Tuscany), Between 2013 and 2014, Friar Paolo served as the President of MoFra with Stefano MINIATI as Vice-President. Their goal was to offer Franciscan formation to anyone who wanted to share in the cultural, spiritual and historical heritage created by Franciscanism, or who felt attracted to St. Francis, for whatever reason, and wanted to learn more about the Franciscan charism. The first annual course was launched in January of 2014, in an atmosphere of great optimism and enthusiasm.
To ensure the seriousness of the course, it has since been conducted under the patronage of the Pontifical Antonianum University in collaboration with the Ministry of Education through the Directorate of the Regional School Office of Tuscany.
What, then, is the Franciscan Movement Organization or “MoFra”? The Movement brings together all the religious and lay Franciscan groups who share the charism of St. Francis and St. Clare. Founded in the 1990s, MoFra has since achieved official recognition. It adopted a statute in the early 2000s, from which regional MoFra Organizations gradually derived.
In Tuscany, MoFra is made up of friars from the First Order (OFM, OFM Cap., and OFM Conv.), the Poor Clares, religious from women’s institutes that are members of the Franciscan Religious Movement (MoReFra), members of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS), Franciscan Youth (YouFra), and members of other Franciscan-inspired Institutes and societies.
MoFra promotes learning, fraternal communion and collaboration among all its members. It bears witness to the Lord through the Franciscan charism. It spreads the Franciscan message through press and multimedia tools and promotes initiatives along the lines of the “Feast in the Square,” an event that allows people to go out into the streets, among the people, open to dialogue, in the style of St. Francis of Assisi.
This year sees the return of initiatives such as the School of Franciscanism, the “Feast in the Square” event, and various proclamation and evangelization days. They are being organized in collaboration with all of the Franciscan groups in Tuscany in order to promote the Franciscan values of fraternity, dialogue and peace.