1. Maximilian Kolbe House for Meetings and Reconciliation of Gdansk, Poland

The Maximilian Kolbe House for Meetings and Reconciliation (DMK) was founded in 1992 by the Friars Minor Conventual of the Gdansk Province. The DMK organizes meetings and national and international seminars for the purpose of encouraging young people to take an active part in social life and to confront social and political problems in central Europe and in the East. International exchange programs for young people promote the spirit of friendship and collaboration between nations. The DMK collaborates with many teachers, educators and specialists (e.g., journalists, politicians, and men of culture.) It cooperates with various academies and universities. Forsterowka is the new seat of the DMK and is located on the Island of Sobieszewska. In the 1930s, Forsterowka had welcomed Albert forster, one of the most infamous collaborators of Hitler. Tragic decisions were made in this place that affected the lives of many people, notably the attack on Westerplatte and the decision to send prisoners to the concentration camp at Stutthof. The present director of the Center is Friar Roman Ziola. With the arrival of the DMK a new chapter on the Island has begun and a new project which will have the name: The Island of Saint Francis.

2. Franciscan Center for Peace and Dialogue of Cocchin, India

The Franciscan Center for Peace and Dialogue (FCPD) of India was created on March 8, 1994, and began functioning in September of the same year. As followers of Saint Francis, we are “known and honored by many throughout the world as a symbol of peace, of reconciliation and of brotherhood.” (John Paul II, October 27, 1986). The friars of the Province of India strive to be instruments of peace and desire to walk with all those who are “persecuted for justice sake (Mt. 5, 10).” The center has the following objectives: to spread awareness and deepen the understanding of issues of justice, peace and ecology; to promote and express solidarity with those who seek help with situations of injustice; to promote and defend human life; to promote ecumenism and interreligious dialogue in the “spirit of Assisi”. The director of the center is Friar Alfredo Parambakathu.

3. “Pax et Unitas” Center of Ecumenical Research and Interreligious Dialogue of Roman, Romania

The Center was instituted on March 31, 2003, by the academic authority of the Catholic Franciscan Theological Institute of Roman as a way to “extend” the spirit of Assisi and, in particular, as a way to recognize Saint Francis as a man of ecumenism and dialogue. Its activities include the following: sharing Saint Francis’ message of harmony and universal brotherhood with all people of good will; the promotion of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue; respect for the religious conscience of all members; the promotion of research and conscience in all major religious expressions. The Center organizes numerous meetings and publishes the proceedings of various meetings in its journal, “Pax et unitas”. It is recognized as the most important Catholic ecumenical center in Romania and is presently coordinated by Friar Iosif Bisoc.

4. Franciscan Studies Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Cultures of Maddaloni, Italy

The Franciscan Studies Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Cultures was recognized as a work of the province at the Chapter of the Conventual Franciscans of the Naples Province in 2005, and was born from a concrete experience of discussion and dialogue with the city (Maddaloni, Province of Caserta) and its present multi-ethnicity. One of the most urgent needs of the time is the formation of youth and families in respect to the “other,” the welcoming of peoples and the consciousness of intersecting cultures—in regular interactions and even more creative albeit complex ways—in this region. The Center has three spheres of actions: offering courses of formation, each course is about 60 hours; the presentation of conferences, seminars, and the celebration of cultural and spiritual events; commitment to social charity included in the customary Franciscan pastoral activity : volunteer coordination, work for the missions, free professional counseling, etc. At present, in addition to language courses, the following courses are planned: The Bible and the Qur’an; The History of Religions; Psychology; International Rights, Introduction to Theology (see the handbook 2010-2011). The present director of the center is Friar Edoardo Scognamiglio.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Guida ai Corsi di Formazione 2010-2011

5. Center of Dialogue between Cultures of Ragusa, Italy

The impetus for the academic-scientific courses on the “Dialogue among cultures: Christianity, Judaism, Islam” is promoted by the Theological Faculty of Saint Bonventure of the Friars Minor Conventual in Rome with the collaboration of Ibleo Theological Insitute of Ragusa and the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of Catania, headquartered in Ragusa. The courses seek to be multi-themed and interdisciplinary, based on the fundamental presuppositions for a dialogue between cultures, and the following themes: God, Man and the World Shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Sicily, the island in the heart of the Mediterranean, has always been a cross section of cultures (Greek, Arab, Jewish, Norman, etc.) and seeks to find livable means of peace. Even today the Island faces the challenge not only of accepting its neighbors but also of creating ways of welcoming, understanding and respecting others. The present director of the center is Friar Biagio Aprile.


6. “Areopago Croato” of Zagreb, Croatia

The “Areopago Croato” is the name of the Croatian Center for research and information on questions related to new religious movements, sects and cults which have multiplied in recent years in Croatia. The Center hosts ecumenical, interreligious and intercultural dialogue in the “spirit of Assisi”, collaborating with the national and international centers which promote the same or analogous objectives particularly the International Franciscan Center for Dialogue of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual located in Assisi. The idea for a Center was accepted and confirmed by the Ordinary Provincial Chapter of the Friars Minor Conventual in Croatia in 2002. It has its own statute and, since 2010, has been based in Zagreb on the fourth floor of a bell tower built in the same year. The Center has a specialized library and a display on various religions and cults. Convention participants make study trips to India. The present director of the Center is Friar Josip Blazevic.