Visit of the General JPIC Office to the Province “Our Lady of Guadalupe” of Central America, Panama and the Foundation “La Santa Cruz” of Haiti
Br Jaime Campos, OFM and Br Daniel Rodríguez, OFM, visited the Franciscan Province of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” of Central America, Panama and Haiti from June 5 to 24, in the context of the change of the Director of the General Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC). Their goal was to encourage and promote the initiatives and projects in the field of JPIC that the entity is carrying out.
Among the most important activities carried out by the visiting friars were the fraternal meetings with the regional JPIC animators of Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as with the local animators of the fraternities. These meetings provided opportunities for conversation and a broad overview of the work being done in each country.
The contexts of these countries that make up the Province are very diverse, and the planning and responses of the JPIC teams are therefore different. However, in each case, some constants mark the friars’ work at the provincial level.
In the dialogues with local and regional animators, it was noted that Central America is characterised as a region of origin and transit of migrants. The collective work of the friars with the Franciscan Family has made it possible to develop local teams that are forming the Franciscan Network for Migrants (RFM). However, at this point, there is a lack of greater involvement in some regions.
Another constant that has emerged in the meetings is that in the territory where the Province is located, there are many mining projects carried out by transnational companies that threaten the common home and the life of the communities. In the face of this, the friars, encouraged by the Franciscan spirituality of JPIC, join with other church and civil society organisations to fight in different areas of advocacy, such as ecological walks or marches, communiqués or statements and proposals for laws aimed at the common good. In recent years, Franciscans International has accompanied some of these processes with training and advice.
Similarly, JPIC animators are involved in drafting booklets for the formation and preparation of lay teams in JPIC work. Another contribution they make is preparing materials based on the values of justice, peace and integrity of creation to celebrate Franciscan devotions such as the feast of St Anthony of Padua, and St Friar Peter, among others.
The friars representing the General Office of JPIC appreciated the work being done, thanked the commitment and passion of many friars, sisters and lay people and, finally, committed themselves to continue accompanying and supporting the provincial processes when required by any of the parties.