In September, 1996, The School of Franciscan Studies became the new center for Build with Living Stones, a program of study of the Franciscan Missionary Charism. As such, it provides not only coordination of the various regional programs throughout the United States and Canada, but also preparatory workshops for teachers and facilitators. This unique program is both inter-cultural and inter-Franciscan. An ongoing process of exchange among all members of the Franciscan family from six continents provides for a creative meshing of the best in current theology, Franciscan research and pastoral practice. The Coordinator of Build with Living Stones is a member of the International Commission located at Missionszentrale in Bonn, Germany.
This program has its roots in the internationally recognized Comprehensive Course on the Franciscan Missionary Charism (CCFMC). By pulling from the rich and relevant spirituality of Franciscan life, and divided into fourteen units, it offers users guidance for a Franciscan reflection around particular themes of life and work. Using an adult-education model, each unit offers both readings and suggested reflections that could be used for group or individual settings, for college/university curriculums, for parish education, for retreats or days of recollection, and/or for an orientation to Franciscan life and work.
The BWLS Program
Each lesson unit is uniform in style and structure. All fourteen units are divided as follows:
From the Sources: Introducing the unit’s theme with a story from the sources:
A. Introduction: Focuses on the aims and objectives of the unit
B. Survey: Gives a birds-eye introduction to the content of the unit
C. Information: Presents the content of the lesson
D. Reflections: Provides concrete ways to process the unit’s themes through dialogue with contemporary poetry, short story, and film.
E. Further Readings: Offers several suggestions (books and articles) for further reflection on the unit’s theme
F. Picture Credits: Each unit provides vivid visuals to facilitate reflection
G. Endnotes: Each unit provides up-to-date endnotes and documentation
The table of contents is as follows:
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