The JPIC Office was invited to present a report on the JPIC promotion work in the Order and perspectives for the future. We have informed the presidents about the JPIC work in each Conference, giving each of them a detailed Conferential report of the last two years. Likewise, we present some concrete proposals to carry out the document of the Plenary Council of the Order from the perspective of JPIC.
Greta has become the symbol of the struggle of youth that claims intergenerational responsibility and a minimum of consciousness for future generations. Pope Francis has put some open questions about our current lifestyle 4 years ago. “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? This question not only concerns the environment in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal. When we ask ourselves what kind of world we want to leave behind, we think in the first place of its general direction, its meaning and its values.” (LS n.160)
In 1982, Br. Dionysius Mintoff, OFM, of Malta, and Sister Elisabeth Cameron, OSF, of USA, wrote to the Franciscan family in the United States about the possibility of a Franciscan presence at the United Nations. It ledto a joint project of the Franciscan Family, which resulted in the creation of the Franciscan Non-Governmental Organization, Franciscans International, for cooperation with the United Nations. Its vision statement identified three main goals: to be aware of the interconnectedness of the entire creation and thus of the commitment to the environment, the commitment to peace and the poor. Later, a conference of the Franciscan Family has been organized in our General Curia, set up by our Office of Justice and Peace, to spread the idea within the Franciscan Family. This is how “Franciscans International,” which was formerly a grassroots organization of Franciscans with a small office in New York, has begun. Later, the Conference of the Franciscan Family (CFF) assumed the patronage as the official organ of the six General Ministers, those of the three First Orders, TOR, the Franciscan sisters and OFS. Franciscans International seeks to bring spiritual, ethical and Franciscan values to the United Nations and other international organizations.
Warm Franciscan greetings to all! It is our pleasure to write to you during the 30th Anniversary celebration of Franciscans International (FI).
As you know, FI is the only common ministry project of the Franciscan Family. It was created thirty years ago from the grassroots up, based on the vision of various sisters and brothers who were inspired by a dream of sharing our Franciscan message and values at a global level through the structures of the United Nations (UN). In the last three decades FI has undergone various changes, but it has continued its commitment to serve peace, the poor and the planet.
“It is beautiful,” said the Pope to his guests of MZF, “how you, as a community of religious brothers and committed laities, address all people of good will in the world to motivate them to help the poor, the needy and the marginalized to a better future.”
On Saturday, April 6, 2019, the Pope has met the staffs of the MZF on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the relief organization. More than twenty staffs of the MZF General Office, together with its first director of many years, Fr. Andreas Müller, and the current president, Fr. Matthias Maier, participated in the audience of the Pope.
This year, with the theme that concerns us, the Culture of Encounter, we want to take up the words of Pope Francis in front of the presidential palace at the opening of his visit to Colombia in September 2017.
On May 3, Pope Francis has received the photos with the names of the 270 people killed, the crime of the Vale from Dari Pereira, survivor of the crime of the Vale in Brumadinho and Fr. Rodrigo Peret, OFM of Churches and Mining Network and Mining Working Group of the CNBB.
The Pope was deeply moved for the victims, blessed the photos and expressed his solidarity to the families who lost their loved ones and all those affected. Immediately the Pope remained in front of the photos in a gesture of affection, respect and solidarity. On May 18, a representative of the Pope, Monsignor Duffé, will be visiting Brumadinho and getting to know the reality and the struggle of those affected.
Samir became an accountant and married Houda Kalala who was a French Teacher at Kilikia Armenian High School. They lived happily in Aleppo with their 4 beautiful children. Tragedy struck on Good Friday (12thApril 2014) with the bombing of their city in the Syrian Civil War. Many lifelong friends and family died on that fateful day. Miraculously, the family managed to escape to another Syrian city and later fled to Lebanon where they applied and were granted a visa to Australia.
Br. Evaldas Darulis OFM, from the Province of St. Casimir in Lithuania was recognized for his efforts to encourage Christians to be more respectful and nondiscriminatory towards LGBT+ persons.
It is with great pleasure that I share with you, on behalf of Franciscans International, a short reflection on “The Works of Mercy and Human Rights” based on the “Mandala” of Saint Nicolas de Flue. May this text provide a source of spiritual nourishment for you and your community on your Lenten journey!
On March 24, 1980, St. Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was martyred while celebrating the Eucharist. It is fitting that during March, the month of his death, we remember that day on October 14, 2018, when Pope Francis canonized him in St. Peter’s Square along with Pope Paul VI, Sr. Nazaria Ignacia March, Sr. María Caterina Kasper, Fr. Francesco Spinelli, Fr. Vincenzo Romano, and layman, Nunzio Sulprizi. That event caused many from around the world to rejoice, especially those who identify themselves with either Romero’s strong testimonials or with the way he followed the Lord. Here are a few reflections from Bishop Romero that can help us in our work as Friars Minor, especially in our work with JPIC.
“Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.
During the World Youth Day in Brazil, 2013, Pope Francis visited a hospital that is under the care of the Fraternity Saint Francis of Assisi in the Providence of God. During this visit, Pope Francis, in a conversation with Fr. Francisco Belotti (Superior General), asked him if the Fraternity had a presence in the Amazon, and encouraged them to carry out some project in the region. After that, the friars were motivated to attend to this request and presented the model of what would be a “hospital ship” to the Holy Father in the Vatican on November 5, 2018.
The Maltese OFM Province of St Paul the Apostle has teamed up with the Centre for Environmental Education and Research of the University of Malta, and the Interdiocesan Commission for the Environment to launch a course designed to inspire and empower participants in taking a stand on sustainability, both in their personal lives and in their communities.
Here is a girl from Sweden. Her name is Greta Thunberg. She is 16 years old. She started her solo protest of “School Strike for the Climate” in front of the Swedish parliament on August 20, 2018. The slogan of her Friday protest was “Why Study for a Future We Might Not Have?”
The Pontifical Antonianum University has recently put the fruits of four interdisciplinary seminars on integral ecology, held in the last two years to productive use.
Subsidy for Formation. The booklet consists of six themes that address the event of the crusade, the encounter between St. Francis and the Sultan of Egypt, the recall of the 800 years of unfinished history, the fruitfulness in following Jesus and the spirit of mission
The products are used in the friary kitchen and also to feed the poor who seek help from the various religious houses in the area. The project has stimulated ecological interest by young and old alike. Today many groups from schools visit the Franciscan agricultural project. Surely this is very positive and encouraging signal for the future.
The General Minister together with the General Definitory recently appointed a new member of its Animation Committee. Br. Angelito Andig Cortez, OFM. He belongs to the Province of San Pedro Bautista in the Philippines. Having made the solemn profession in 2015, he has been deeply involved in the various JPIC ministries leading many international as well as regional campaigns.
During the retreat, the volunteers were asked when was the last time we encountered God through nature. When have we stopped to deliberately be in silence? When was the last time we reflected on the impact of human activity to a tranquil nature?
Laudato si’ will be celebrated in three zones: Parque Omar, Colegio Internacional Maria Inmaculada and various Youth Festival stages. Through these exhibitions, pilgrims will be encouraged to commit to living Laudato si’ and start conversations on ecological conversion to recognise God in creation in their own countries.