In the past few months, we have seen the planet earth burning with numerous wildfires in different parts of the world, exacerbating the climatic emergency that we live today.
Pope Francis, in the encyclical Laudato si’, invites the entire human race to hear the cries of the poor since they are the most affected by the climate crisis.
A conference on “Voices from the Amazon: Land, People, and Religion” will spark deep conversations and ideas on 5 October, one day before the synod begins.
The conference will include Mons. Hector Cabrejos, OFM, President of the Episcopal Conference of Latin America, Br.Michael Perry, General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor, Patricia Gualinga, Sarayaku Leader, Ecuador, and many more.
The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.
Please join us for “The Amazon: our Common Home”, a compelling event series that brings the Amazon to Rome for the bishops’ synod on the Amazon. Across eight countries with approximately 400 indigenous communities and millions of people, the Amazon is a place where the Creator’s glory is revealed.
“Living Franciscan humanism in today’s European context: Go and repair my house” was the topic of the VII Continental Meeting of JPIC European Animators.
In the retreat house “Porziuncola” in Malta, there was the meeting of 25 brothers working for the animation of the values of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) in the European continent. The meeting started with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Br. Richard Stanley Grech, OFM, Provincial Minister of the Province of St. Paul in Malta.
We hope that we can count on your support to help carry this initiative, to have your bell(s), … ring in your towers, belfries, carillon, churches, communities, institutions – a call or another sign – on Friday 4 October 2019 at 14.00 hrs. to give a hopeful sign of prayer, peace and reconciliation among all people of goodwill throughout the world.
Almost more than half a million migrant workers, who live in and around the city of Chennai, are unskilled workers. Migrants who come to the city of Chennai are typically at the receiving end of misplaced bias, such as loud, sexually open, dirty and so on. In workplaces, migrant labor is often deprived of the most necessary and essential of amenities such as a clean toilet, drinking water, and a place to rest. It is perhaps not news that migrants are taken for granted and the accounts show that there is a long way to go before migration with dignity is achieved.
The aim of these camps is to lead young people to an encounter with God through Sister-Mother Earth, by means of Franciscan spirituality and the values of JPIC. To achieve this the young people are brought into an environment which promotes more direct contact with nature and for this reason the site for the camp is carefully selected.
The Franciscan Province, “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” of Central America, Panama and the Foundation of “La Santa Cruz” in Haiti, has the JPIC Commission in the Province, which consists of a friar appointed for animation and coordination in each region of the actions of JPIC, together with the Franciscan Family. The Province has an evangelization project that includes four points for JPIC animation. They are, firstly, JPIC in initial and ongoing formation (formation program), secondly, JPIC in each evangelization settings (parish, rectory), thirdly, JPIC in the schools of the Province, and fourthly, JPIC office in each country. Even if there are JPIC teams of the Franciscan Family in some states of Central America, it’s essential to have an office in each state.
From September 1 to October 4, Christians around the world celebrate the Season of Creation. Some of us pray, some of us do hands-on projects, some of us advocate.
A cycle rally was organised by the friars in Chennai, South India on the 7thof July for the cause of water and land, and around 250 children and youth had participated in this event. They covered up around 20 km of distance in and around Madhavaram, Chennai and the neighbouring area holding posters with slogans “Save water and it will save you later; No water no life; Water is life, Treat it Right; Reuse the Past, Recycle the present, Reduce pollution in the future…”
The tragedy of Venezuela happens at all levels: social, cultural, political and economic. However, in the face of so much human pain, we choose to focus on various action alerts. We decry the ecological destruction and its impacts on our suffering people. We deplore a decline in the public services, the high cost of economic activities, and poor public administration. Besides the corruption in the regions, the rural populations living far from the capital are the most affected. Unlike the outside areas, the city of Caracas enjoys the nearly uninterrupted public services. Over the years, numerous official grievances have been made by the environmental groups, indigenous communities and other entities about the excessive growth of illegal mining in the Amazon.
Br. Joseph Nangle belongs to the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) and has served as a missionary in Bolivia for over 15 years, was another 12 years the co-director of Franciscan Mission Service and last Thursday he was arrested, along with 70 other Catholics, for protesting against the immigration policy of the government of Donald Trump. Brother Joseph was kind enough to answer some questions for pazybien.es and highlights the serious situation in which migrants live due to current measures in place by the US administration
The objective of this Alliance, as expressed in the agreement, is to promote a systemic, cultural and spiritual change that should be translated into economic and political transformations in the face of the current climate crisis. By doing so, the adherent 21 organizations have expressed their willingness to put themselves at the service of the community and facilitate links that can generate public-political influence from their respective identities.
One such support came from the Franciscan Family Chennai (FFC). An Inter-Religious Floral Tribute to the victims of bomb attack as well as to show our unity beyond boundaries of religion, caste and race were organized on the 28th of April 2019.
On the first day of the Meeting, the JPIC projects of both schools that belong to the Franciscan Province of the XII Apostles in Perú were exhibited. It should be noted that JPIC values have been presented transversally within the educational institutes. The creation of JPIC Commissions in each school has allowed the development of valuable programs that are aimed at the students and their families for the care of creation.
And that’s why António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, has called for the UN 2019 Climate Summit on September 21 – 23 in New York with the theme, ‘A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win.’ The Church also resonates to this call. The Pope, too, declared a global “climate emergency.” He said that a failure to act urgently to reduce greenhouse gases would be “a brutal act of injustice toward the poor and future generations.”
The 35th National Assembly of the Franciscan Movement of Justice and Peace was held at San José de Tarata Convent, near the city of Cochabamba. The Meeting brought together 52 people from the JPIC departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Sucre, Oruro, Trinidad, Potosí and Tarija. The theme of the Meeting was “Faith and Politics,” given the upcoming presidential elections that will take place in Bolivia this October.
When the episode in the life of Francis related to his encounter with the Crucifix of San Damiano, and the task with which he was entrusted, “Go and rebuild my house which is falling into ruins”, is raised, almost always if not always, there is a reference made to the fact that the Church of that time, at least in respect of the temporal power it wielded, lived in luxury and was certainly not an example of integrity and in keeping with the Word which it was announcing.
We leave at your disposal the recent edition of JPIC Newsletter “CONTACT” (April – June 2019) The “CONTACT” is an open space where you can share stories and information on your JPIC ministry. You can send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org The next...
The Conference of the Franciscan Family would like to invite you to a celebratory event to reflect on 30 years of its human rights work at the United Nations.
Starting from this perspective it is good that we ask ourselves about our Eucharistic celebrations, our participation in the Eucharist, our ability to adore the Divine Mystery present in the Eucharist. But starting from this perspective it is good that we also ask ourselves about our relationship with life, with the world, with creation and with all creatures, which in the Eucharist begin to experience the deification movement that began with the Easter event the Paschal mystery of Jesus Christ?
On the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5, the friars participated in some activities to mark the day. In the formation house in Chimoio City, the friars and the students participated in an environmental campaign to plant trees. The ceremony was held in one of the primary schools around the city.
On May 27, days before Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard traveled to Washington to begin negotiations with the United States regarding the tariff threat, the Assistant Secretary for Border Affairs, Migrants and Human Rights of Tabasco, José Ramiro López Obrador, announced the deployment of 100 agents of Federal Police and 100 troops of the SEDENA (Secretariat for National Defense) in Tenosique to “reinforce the tasks of the National Migration Institute.” The Federal Police had already been operating for 17 days in Tenosique at the time of the announcement.
In conclusion to this wonderful experience of friendship and dialogue, I must say, first of all, that I have witnessed what Laudato si’tells us about our faith and science, i.e. we should also relate our faith with science. Secondly, Carceri and Sacro Bosco are a part of our rich Franciscan heritages. St. Francis and his followers were very much in communion with nature and made it home of encounter with God. For us Franciscans, we can develop here a project of Franciscan ecological spirituality and ministry. We can utilize the sacred sites in nature for our formation in Franciscan ecological spirituality and for visitors and pilgrims as well. With the various species of plants, trees, shrubs, and herbs, rock formations, landscapes, and the whole ecosystem, it will be a venue for scientific studies and its integration with our faith, awe, and spiritual aesthetics.
The JPIC Animation Committee of the Order of Friars Minor gathered in Jericho from June 10 to 14, 2019, soon after the International Council for JPIC in Jerusalem. The Animation Committee had a very good dialogue with the JPIC Commission of the Custody of the Holy Land headed by Br. Giorgio Vigna, OFM. The encounter between the two highlighted the works of the brothers in the Holy Land working for JPIC, especially with their ministry of presence and dialogue. The JPIC General Animator expressed his gratitude for the recently concluded International Council in Jerusalem with all the organization and logistical preparations that the Custody did for the friars. After which the four members of the Animation Committee were accompanied by Br. Mario H’dchity, OFM to proceed to Jericho for their meeting.
The Synod for the Amazons is a reflection on these problems that currently represent the life of the Church. There have been many meetings around these themes, hopefully producing more than just documents that diagnose this region. This Synod is provoking new paths, new models of evangelization for facing the challenges of mission, especially in the Amazon region.
The Custody of the Holy Land hosted the two-yearly planning meeting of the International Council of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) of the Order of the Friars Minor from 3rd to 10th June 2019.
The JPIC Office has always dealt with everything concerning Justice, Peace and the Integrity of the Creation, recognized as founding values of Franciscan spirituality. These values are also to be found in the fight against climate change, the protection of Human Rights and special attention to the problems and real violations existing in the 119 countries where the Order is present and works. “This meeting,” said Fr. Jaime Campos, Director of the General Office for JPIC, “allows us to evaluate the work that has been done and to plan, with our discussions, future work with constant attention to the contents of the “Laudato Si’” Encyclical”.
Br. Giorgio Vigna was the first Christian religious honored in these ceremonies and received this tribute in his name but also, as declared by the organizer of the event Yshai Menuhim, in recognition of the constant commitment of the Franciscan Custody for human dignity.
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.
On March 27 – 29, 2019, a symposium on mission and development was held by Missionszentrale der Franziskanerin Bonn. On the auspicious occasion of its golden jubilee this year, MZF organized this three-day-seminar with the theme, “Do not ask how to convert the...
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.
The JPIC Office in Rome has planned a series of webinars for 2019 on the four topics that are the general directions of JPIC promotion decided at the last International Council for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Verona, Italy. The topics...
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.