This year the Pontifical Theological Faculty “St. Bonaventure” began a two-year course of Pastoral Graphology, with a specific focus on youth and family ministry, under the direction of Father Fermin Giacometti, President of the Girolamo Moretti Institute of Graphology in Urbino, and Carla Maria Zampieri, Marriage and Family Life Consultant of the Center “La Famiglia.”
«In my thirty years of experience with families and with the novices of the Order of Friars Minor—says Father Fermin Giacometti—I have seen the usefulness of graphological research for studying a person’s capacities also on a spiritual level and, therefore, for more effective accompaniment and pastoral leadership». The priests and pastoral workers as well as volunteers and those who work with the families, thus have the opportunity to gain a practical skill that helps to recognize the dynamics in families and human relationships, and to learn more about themselves and their own relationship with God. Fr. Giacometti goes on to say: «The spiritual values are authentically incarnated when they transform the person on the level of his character and in his relationships with others and with God. There is a close relationship between the character and the spiritual ‘style.’ For example, someone who has a negative relationship with his father—a figure seen as strict and authoritarian—can take two attitudes with respect to God: by analogy, considering God as a stern father, who controls and punishes; or, in contrast to the father figure, believing in a merciful God, who forgives everything. Pastoral graphology helps a person to grow spiritually by becoming aware of his own psychological style and, so, to relate to God as a Person, not as a projection».
«The first point that has to be solved, or at least improved, in any problematic human situation, including on the spiritual level, is that of the awareness of oneself and of the problem. This applies both to those who ask for help and to the educator or the consultant. Graphology is a human interdisciplinary science (in collaboration with other sciences, such as neurophysiology and psychology) that provides a tool for gaining greater awareness and offering help», says Carla Maria Zampieri. «Graphology helps people to better understand themselves, their basic temperament and character, that is the personality structure that forms the whole of their life experience, knowledge and temperament. It is very useful in youth and family ministry, because it throws light on the dynamics of individuals and within the family that affect relationships with others and with God. This awareness helps to make changes and direct one’s life, and therefore also in the spiritual dimension».