The National Seminar of the Permanent Formation of the Third Franciscan Order was held in House of Peace in Medjugorje from November 8 – 10, 2013. This seminar was organised by the Herzegovinian regional fraternity and the theme was “The Gospel and Life”. The leader of the seminar that had more than 50 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina was Fr. Ante Vuckovic, professor at the Catholic Theology Faculty in Split. National Minister Nives Kanecev, Minister of Herzegovinian Regional Fraternity Marija Brekalo and Zeljko Majnadzic, Minister of Bosnian Regional Fraternity of “Kraljica Katarina”. National spiritual assistant of the Third Franciscan Order, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic and Fr. Danijel Rajic, national spiritual assistant of the Franciscan Youth were also present. During this three-day seminar all participants had chance to hear Fr. Ante’s meditations on sin of envy as well as about relations between faith and disbelief. One of his lectures was based on the verse from the Mark’s Gospel 15,10: “For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up” and Fr. Ante explained the roots of sin of envy and dangers it causes as well as the ways to resist that sin. The reason for that sin is the feeling of deprivation, thoughts that someone else had received more than we did and that someone else has something that belongs to us. We need to resist envy with acknowledgment that God is merciful father who has given gifts and talents to each person and it is up to us to discover, develop and share those gifts. Giving produces feeling of gratitude. “If we happen to be the subject of envy, we need to respond to it with love and by looking into our Father who made us what we are.” He also spoke about difference between jealousy and envy. “Envy is human yearning for something that someone else has. Jealousy is a fear of losing what I have.” In his second lecture titled “Faith in unbelief”, Fr, Ante emphasised that unbeliever always stands in the middle and points himself out, while faithful person steps back and places God in the centre. All participants took part in the evening prayer programme in Medjugorje and had chance to achieve their personal encounter with Christ and Mother Mary through the Eucharistic celebrations, sacrament of confession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They also climbed Apparition Hill.
Marija Puljić, Third Franciscan Order and Franciscan Youth from Bosnian Province