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The Franciscan Family of Central America held its General Assembly on the 25th and 26th of August, 2023 at the Monte Alvernia Retreat House, San Salvador, El Salvador. fr. Daniel Rodríguez Blanco, Director of the JPIC General Office, was invited to share the work carried out by this Office and, specifically, on the Franciscan Network for Migrants of the Americas (FNM).

The Superiors of the Congregations and Orders of the Franciscan family present in Central America were invited to this Assembly. The topics developed during the two days of hard work were on the animation of the Franciscan Centenarians, administration, formation and organization.

In the final message, the assembly members showed gratitude to God for the call “to live the Franciscan and Clarian charism in different contexts.” A charism that despite eight centuries “remains so current and possesses by the grace of God a capacity to transform the Church and society as our Father St. Francis continues to do to-day.”

For his part, fr. Daniel, during his speech at the end of the first day, presented some of the signs of the times that are worrying, but also generate hope. He assured all that the Franciscan charism is a mysticism and spirituality of “open eyes” that is always asking God “Lord what do you want me to do?” In this sense, the situation of thousands of migrants becomes a sign of the times. Indeed, proof of this is the 294,000 migrants bound for North America who have crossed the Darién jungle since the 18th August, 2023.

fr. Daniel said that the Franciscans have already begun for some years to respond to this migratory situation at different levels: humanitarian assistance, legal advice, advocacy, amongst others. The FNM is an entity that articulates from the Franciscan mysticism and fraternal coordination to those men and women committed to migrants. He invited the assembly members and their representatives to join efforts to support the local FNM teams that are already functioning or to promote the teams in those countries where the FNM does not yet have a presence.

fr. Daniel Rodríguez Blanco ofm