After the Greccio Experience in November 2021, here came another long-awaited Franciscan Experience—La Verna Experience which took place also at St. Pio Spirituality Center, Ulu Tiram, Johor from 2nd March to 9th March, 2022 this month.
This seven-day La Verna Experience led the Post-Novice brothers to relive the experience of the Founder—St. Francis of Assisi in fasting and contemplating the passion of Christ particularly in this season of Lent.
The attractive topics of La Verna Experience 2022 were: 1) From Ashes to Fire: The 90-day Journey; 2) Solitude and Silence in the Journey of a Disciple; 3) Prayer in the Journey: St. Francis’ Office of the Passion; 4) Mary: Her Place in the Paschal Mystery; 5) The Mystery of Evil, Temptation & Sin: Discernment of Spirits; 6) The Parchment: The Praises of God & The Blessing of Br. Leo; 7) The Canticle of Creatures of the Stigmatized Francis; 8) The Stigmata: Bitter Pain and Blissful Joy.
The Facilitators for this La Verna Experience 2022 were specially chosen and invited among the professed Capuchins hailing from different countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, and West Malaysia. The one thing that marked the uniqueness of this Experience was the role-play of ‘Martha and Mary‘, as a brother spent two days in solitude and silence, which was liken to the privilege of Mary who sat and listened to the Master, whilst Martha did the works of service as the rest of the brothers attending the Zoom Meeting with the Facilitator of the day, and the Sacrament of reconciliation was held on the last day for all the brothers of the Experience.
On the last day, the Custos—Fr. Valentine Gompok, OFM Cap wrapped up this La Verna Experience 2022 by quoting the Perfect Joy of St. Francis. It is only in embracing wholeheartedly the bitter crosses of our lives, by the grace of God, do we attain to the blissful joy of Eternal life with Him. Later that evening, the Holy Eucharist was presided by the Custos to mark the closing of this 2022 La Verna Experience. Big thanks to the organisers for this remarkable and unforgettable Franciscan Experience!