2016-2017 BSSF-SA TRAINING PROGRAM
After the 2015 Annual Regional Gathering, we will begin taking applications and registrations for the 2016-2017 BSSF-SA Program. Please review the Invitation, Application Form, and Registration Form on this website and prayerfully discern if the Holy Spirit is calling you to be a BSSF-OFS Spiritual Assistant.
THE PASTORAL ATTRIBUTES OF A SPIRITUAL ASSISTANT
- Open to daily conversion
- Non-judgmental and non-controlling
- Faithful to the spirit of the OFS Rule and the Four Pillars of BSSF Region
- Conversant in Franciscan spirituality and knowledgeable about the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare
- Well-versed in the contents of our BSSF_Regional_Formators_Guidelines_for_Initial_Formation (June 30, 2010), and the FUN Manual
THE PASTORAL SKILLS OF A SPIRITUAL ASSISTANT
- Understands Catholic Social Teaching
- Animates others to pursue justice, peace, and integrity of creation
- Promotes dialogue and collaboration
- Listens actively
- Relates well to people
THE PASTORAL TASKS OF A SPIRITUAL ASSISTANT
The principal task of the [Spiritual] assistant is to communicate Franciscan Spirituality and to co-operate in the initial and continuing formation of the brothers and sisters. (General Constitutions: Article 90.1)
Additional Tasks of the Spiritual Assistant
To spiritually assist a fraternity and its council
- To conduct pastoral visits of local fraternities
- To witness local fraternity elections
- To serve as a resource person for spiritual and fraternal formation
- To educate others concerning the various aspects of the Order
- To evaluate the Franciscan character of fraternal programs
TO APPLY FOR THIS TRAINING PROGRAM YOU MUST BE PROFESSED FOR A MINIMUM OF FIVE YEARS
(Source: Franciscan Family Connections, page i) – March 19, 2015
BSSF – SA TRAINING PROGRAM ELECTION POLICIES
Spiritual Assistants in training may continue, if previously elected, to serve on the local fraternity council. If minister or vice-minister, this individual can serve in that position until appointed as an assistant to a local fraternity.
In a Chapter of Elections, neither the Commissioned SA nor an SA in Training can be nominated or accept nomination for the position of minister or vice minister. However, this same individual may be nominated as secretary, treasurer, formation director, or councilor and if elected serve until appointed to assist a local fraternity. They will be obliged to resign the position when and IF appointed as Spiritual Assistant to a local fraternity. There is no guarantee that a Commissioned Spiritual Assistant will be assigned to a fraternity.
Conference of National Spiritual Assistants (CNSA) recommends that we not be appointed to serve our own fraternity. However, there are times when pastoral considerations make this necessary. Franciscan Family Connections, page iii
The applicant is expected to be present and participate in all seven weekend SA Training Sessions. Our tentative schedule for the next BSSF-SA Class:
FEBRUARY, MAY, AUGUST, AND NOVEMBER 2016
AND FEBRUARY, MAY, AUGUST 2017
November 2017 – newly commissioned SA Internship Preparation
MAKE-UP WEEKEND SESSION PROCEDURE
If for an unforeseen reason you must miss a scheduled weekend session:
- Contact Fr. Linus DeSantis, OFM Conv., for counsel. Together you will determine if your absence is excused or unexcused. Only one excused session can be made up. If for any reason you miss a second weekend session, you must begin the program again.
- If it is determined that your absence is excused, it will be important to immediately schedule a make up session before the next SA Training (Weekend) Session so as to avoid extra travel and an extra weekend.
- After all Seven Weekend Sessions are completed, Fr. Linus will interview you.
The demographics of the members of the SA team and participants will determine the locations for weekend sessions. Both August sessions will take place at Ridgecrest on the three days preceding the ARG.