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Implications of the PCO for JPIC animation

Last June, the Plenary Council of the Order was celebrated with the participation of brothers representing all the Conferences of the Order and special guests, in Nairobi, Kenya. It was the first PCO celebrated in Africa.


The final document published a few weeks ago included the words of the Minister General: “This document is the fruit of the reflection of the Council Members and of the General Definitory who have gone through a synodal process, coming up with a text that allows us to know more about our reality. It can help all of us to move into a listening, prayerful and reflective attitude, to discern and then identify concrete ways to go forth.”

I think that these brief words summarize the entire process carried out so far, leaving one of the most important aspects to be implemented by each fraternity, and each friar of the Order: to look for concrete ways.

During the meeting of the JPIC Animation Committee, we read and reflected on the document. We were happy when we discovered that realities such as migration and care for the Common Home, promoted by the International Council of JPIC in 2016, have been collected from various parts of the Order. According to the document, the themes that the brothers took up in their daily lives, in the context where they live, in the work they do, were included in the reflections of the delegates at the PCO.

We believe that, during the coming years, the Order must truly look for concrete ways, in the light of the Gospel and of our rich spirituality of fraternity and minority, that allow us to meet men and women at the grassroots and to walk together with them in a rapidly changing world. To live in a world that changes rapidly means that it is also necessary to search “quickly” for specific paths — that is, to start today, not waiting for tomorrow or for the next Provincial Chapter to begin. A world that is moving so fast needs concrete answers today. We must contribute to society in an active and creative way, with our way of life and the mission of proclaiming the Kingdom of God; concrete proposals that help to humanize our relationships, among ourselves and with our Common Home.

In particular, JPIC animators are called to a greater commitment to the promotion and experience of the Encyclical Laudato si’. We are challenged by the words of Pope Francis to live our charism authentically. Therefore, we must strive to find concrete ways towards an integral ecological conversion. In the midst of the humanitarian crisis caused by the forced displacement of people, we can’t hesitate and waste time anymore. Several Entities of the Order have begun to know and be engaged in this reality. However, we still have a lot to do, and the document offers some concrete proposals on this subject, which can be part of the animation plan of the Province.

The final document of the 2018 PCO will be useless if it remains only on the web page of the Order or in the friary library. I invite you to read it, but above all to find concrete ways of putting it into practice, especially the topics that have a direct relationship with our mission as animators of the values ​​of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. Let’s bring this precious document to life. There are particular issues that we must put into practice: “committed to the Encyclical Laudato si’, “committed to the migrant and refugee brothers,” and “in a world as instruments of peace.”

If you have not yet downloaded the document, you can do so here.

A short video presenting the document has also been prepared. Here.

Best wishes for the year ahead and I hope that we can find concrete ways to go forward and move out. May God bless us.

Br. Jaime Campos F., OFM
JPIC General Office