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.
We believe that the care for the environment must be transversal and must involve all people, along with politics, religion and economy. As we celebrate the 800th anniversary of the encounter of St. Francis with Sultan Malik al-Kamil (1219), the JPIC Course 2019 takes into account the ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, because we are convinced that the solution has to come from everyone.