The 0-5 Gathering Reflection
By friar Ian Bremar, OFM Conv.
The 0-5 Gathering was held December 27 - 30 in West Palm Beach, Florida at the Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. There were 15 solemnly professed friars at the gathering - 13 priests and 2 brothers - led by friar Curt Kreml. Those 15 participants have all been ordained (or solemnly professed for the two brothers) about within the last 5 years. This experience was much like a retreat with common prayer and meals and time for reflection and social activity. It differed in that, rather than having daily conferences preached to us, friar Curt instead facilitated discussions with the whole group on various themes that affect our lives as newer and younger friars within our first five years outside of a formation house. Once or twice a day we got together to mutually share and reflect on the topics that friar Curt addressed.
I found that what was most fruitful of the experience was simply the chance to spend an extended weekend with peers with whom I had been in formation. The opportunities to spend time with classmates or even friars in my own generation are rarer now that I'm not in a formation house. It was in our free time - playing games, walking on the beach, or just staying up to talk - that we were really able to catch up on how each of us was doing, laugh over old memories, and speculate and dream about the future. However the 0-5 Gathering is structured in years to come, to be able to reconnect with friars from our time in formation, friars who are encountering similar experiences in their own ministries as recently ordained or solemnly professed, is reason enough to continue the program. It's what I look forward to about it.
(Left to Right): friar Ian, friar Luis, friar Milton, friar Chris