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On February 9, 2023, JPIC Animators came together in a virtual meeting organized by Russell Testa as the president of the English-speaking Franciscan Conference. Br. Daniel Rodriguez Blanco, OFM and Br. Taucen Hotlan Girsang, OFM from JPIC General Office in Rome, have participated.

Besides having to converge each other, it was a special time to share the activities that JPIC animators have been in charged. The orientation and directions of the General Chapter 2021, the Petropolis Statement, the expectations of JPIC Office in Rome, the upcoming plans and concrete actions as well as the programs for the future, were presented.

During the sharing session, several themes emerged such as migrants, racism, climate crisis, and engaging to the young people. The question was how to figure out our role as Franciscans in this time.

It becomes clear that the friars have been working hard to help migrants through preparing shelter and sharing the foods. One friar said “Living with migrants is our great challenge. Only through such way, we will be able to understand them better”.

Although awareness has been raised about the climate crisis and environmental degradation, more attention is needed to practice and concretize some direct actions. Solidarity of resources, collaborations and networks, links and connections are going to be very useful to help some countries in real critical situation.

Finally, it was seen as a challenge for the friars to keep in touch and engage more with young people. And so, this year young friars will be able participate in World Youth Day in Portugal.

Br. Taucen Hotlan Girsang, OFM