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A first preparatory executive meeting for the Franciscan Mediterranean Network was held at the General Curia in Rome on January 23, 2020. The members at the meeting were Br. Jaime Campos and Br. Rufino Lim (the General JPIC), Br. Alonso Morales (General Secretary for the Missions and Evangelization), Br. Francesco Zecca (Coordinator of the Youth sector of the Network), Br. Mark Ciantar (Coordinator of the Migrants sector of the Network), Br. Antonio Lembo (JPIC counselor of COMPI).

It took place in a very fraternal atmosphere. It was essential to specify the objectives and decisions made at the meeting in Malta on September 6 – 8, 2019, which was the meeting of the Secretaries of Evangelization and the JPIC animators that came from almost every Entities around the Mediterranean sea to reflect on the possibility of creating this significant Network.

There was yet another gathering together with Marco Bartoli and Valeria Gutierrez (representatives of the St. Egidio Community), Massimo De Maio (representative of the “Fare Verde [Green It]” association) on the previous day. The participants arrived at an idea of establishing a collaborative relationship between the Franciscan Mediterranean Network and the St. Egidio Community, to extend the “corridors” in the Italian territory, primarily through the Franciscan Entities in the region.

The work points were mainly three:

  1. Organization of the Network: framework of coordination;
  2. A structure of the individual sectors (Youth, Migrants, Dialogue, and Peace) and related activities;
  3. Internal and external communication of the Network’s activities.

The day ended with feelings of gratitude and the desire to weave networks in the Mediterranean to trigger new processes through the language of beauty and hospitality, against the culture of abandonment and exclusion.

Br. Antonio Lembo, OFM
JPIC Animator, Province of St. Michael Archangel – Puglia Molise, Italy