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The General Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and the Pontifical Antonianum University (PUA) of Rome held the annual course for JPIC animators of the Franciscan Family from the 20th to 26th May 2024.

The welcoming words of Br. Daniel N. Rodríguez Blanco, OFM, were followed by the inaugural greeting of Br. Agustín Hernández, OFM, Rector of the PUA, who presented some general lines of the master’s degree in philosophy with specialization in “Integral Ecology” which and the Pontifical Antonianum University offers.

In the morning meetings, in Room A of the PUA, the foundations of justice, peace and reconciliation were offered at the biblical level by (Br. Darko Tepert, General Secretary for Formation and Studies OFM), on the Magisterium of the Church (Prof. Sergio Tanzarella) and Franciscan spirituality by (Br. Giuseppe Buffon, OFM).

This course ran continuously for more than a decade until it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2024 it resumed with a positive response, given the participation of around fifty people, including participants and guest professors, from at least twenty-four countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

In this academic environment, the testimonial voices of members of the Franciscan Family who daily experience war in the Middle East, Congo, South Sudan, Myanmar, amongar others, also resonated.

During the afternoon meetings, various peacebuilding projects were presented: the Nagasaki Project, Japan (Br. Francis Furusato, OFM); the Total Peace of Colombia (Prof. Jairo Agudelo); the Franciscan Institute for the Culture of Peace in Split, Croatia (Br. Mijo Dzolan, OFM); the reconciliation process in Rwanda and Congo (Br. Jean-Claude Mulekya, OFM); interreligious dialogue in Istanbul, Turkey (Br. Antonio Duma), and the proposal of the Cuban-German philosopher Raúl Fornet-Betancourt, or intercultural philosophy: philosophy for dialogue and coexistence in a conflictual world.

On the last day, Br. Taucen Girsang and Br. Daniel Rodríguez Blanco, of the OFM JPIC General Office, developed the themes of spirituality, the profile and the mission that accompanies the JPIC animators of the Franciscan Family.

A special moment of the week was the visit to the sanctuary of La Verna and Assisi. The Fraternities of Our Lady of the Angels and La Verna welcomed the course participants with affection and joy, sharing lunch with them. The visit to the city of peace was led by Br. Antonio Lanzi, OFM.