Secular Franciscan Spiritual Advisor duties


#1

Hello friends:

I was wondering if it was a wise thing to have Spiritual Directors sit in on formation workshops. Other orders specifically state that spiritual directors should not become officers in their respective orders.

So some questions for discussion:
1/ Isn't their job to prepare the individual for formation beforehand.?
2/ Is it due to the Franciscan order being autonomous thus deviant in this procedure?
3/ Can a conflict arise in the formation decision making process, that is, a bias opinion rooted in his knowledge gained by discreet disclosure of information?
4/ Wouldn't it guarantee this could never happen if he were NOT there at all.?
5/ Are the spiritual directors self aware enough in conscience to know they are holding a bias in a particular decision?

Andy


#2

They do (at least at my fraternity)…


#3

[quote="AndyF, post:1, topic:267043"]

I was wondering if it was a wise thing to have Spiritual Directors sit in on formation workshops. Other orders specifically state that spiritual directors should not become officers in their respective orders.

[/quote]

It may just be me, but I think you need to clarify your question. When you talk about "formation workshops" are you talking about the regional workshops where they are introducing the new "FUN" materials (train the trainer workshops) or are you talking about normal formation classes where visitors, inquiry, and candidates are attending.

If you are talking about the former, by all means anyone associated with SFO can attend to find out information on the new program. They should also have input/suggestions on what material should be in the new program. That is one of the main purposes of the new program, to make formation among all the Franciscan Orders and within SFO to be similar. If you are talking about the later, then ideally the fraternities spiritual assistant can be called in occasionally for formation meetings when it warrants it, but unless the formation team is real new, the SFO fraternity itself should have its own capable formation team doing the training.

The other question I have is when you are talking about "spiritual director" are you talking about an individual's spiritual director or are you talking about the fraternities' spiritual assistant.


#4

Sorry but your question seems very leading with the use of the term deviant. Maybe I am misreading this. Overall it is not the Spiritual Assistant's position to oversee or be an authority to the SFO - this was never St. Francis's intention. I am sure JREducation can speak better as to this topic but there is a separation of the Orders that are not necessarily suboordinate in nature.


#5

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:4, topic:267043"]
Sorry but your question seems very leading with the use of the term deviant. Maybe I am misreading this. Overall it is not the Spiritual Assistant's position to oversee or be an authority to the SFO - this was never St. Francis's intention. I am sure JREducation can speak better as to this topic but there is a separation of the Orders that are not necessarily suboordinate in nature.

[/quote]

Each order is its own order. The SFO is in no way under the OFM or Poor Clares. It is considered an equal (but obviously different) vocation. :)


#6

[quote="Luigi_Daniele, post:5, topic:267043"]
Each order is its own order. The SFO is in no way under the OFM or Poor Clares. It is considered an equal (but obviously different) vocation. :)

[/quote]

That was exactly my point - however the Spiritual Assistant usually is usually a Brother or Sister.


#7

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:6, topic:267043"]
That was exactly my point - however the Spiritual Assistant usually is usually a Brother or Sister.

[/quote]

True :)


#8

[quote="AndyF, post:1, topic:267043"]
Hello friends:

I was wondering if it was a wise thing to have Spiritual Directors sit in on formation workshops. Other orders specifically state that spiritual directors should not become officers in their respective orders.

So some questions for discussion:
1/ Isn't their job to prepare the individual for formation beforehand.?
2/ Is it due to the Franciscan order being autonomous thus deviant in this procedure?
3/ Can a conflict arise in the formation decision making process, that is, a bias opinion rooted in his knowledge gained by discreet disclosure of information?
4/ Wouldn't it guarantee this could never happen if he were NOT there at all.?
5/ Are the spiritual directors self aware enough in conscience to know they are holding a bias in a particular decision?

Andy

[/quote]

Andy,

I'm not sure what the situation is, and others from this thread apparently don't either. But you can read information on the role that a spiritual assistant plays (and a director USED to play) on the CIOFS and NAFRA websites.

The SFO is an autonomous order. You should have a minister and vice minister elected from among your members. You should also have a formation person from among your number doing the formation. Your fraternity should NOT have a director who is an OFM or TOR (either gender or any other order) at its head, as its major authority. If that is the case, you need to change it peacefully. Regional needs to know also - peacefully.

If you have an OFM or a TOR of either gender, they should be around just for guidance. They are sometimes at meetings but they have no vote, the way I understand it. They are supposed to be available to answer questions and model the charism so that it doesn't drift from being Franciscan to something else like paganism or generic something out of ignorance or misunderstanding -- and that's why you have them, if you have them.

It's an American thing to have to legislate rules down the nth degree and I'm pretty sure that we don't have a rule that says that the spiritual assistance can't be present at formation meetings, because the SFO isn't only American! I believe that the spiritual assistants are supposed to have the opportunity for some advisory input in council meetings. However, they're not supposed to be running the show, no.

Read what's at the CIOFS and NAFRA sites on the topic, and then you're going to have to work this situation out peacefully. Good luck.


#9

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