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Brothers and sisters of the Franciscan family and special guests from Spain, Italy, Turkey, France, Morocco, Greece and representatives of Franciscans International in Geneva gathered in the city of Marrakech, Morocco, to participate in the first Franciscan meeting of service to migrant and refugee population in the Mediterranean.

The meeting began on Friday, the 10th May 2024 with the Eucharist presided over by Br. Daniel Rodríguez Blanco, OFM, Director of the JPIC General Office. In his homily he invited us to have the courage to build a Franciscan network in the Mediterranean to be a droplet of fraternity within this immense sea.

Br. Francisco Gómez, Secretary General for Missions and Evangelization, presented the objective summarized in the desire to promote through the meeting the possibility of getting to know each other, an exchange of the experiences of our local work and creating a structure capable of articulating a response for the Mediterranean based on our charisma and Franciscan spirituality.

Br. Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General, shared a message with the participants in which he highlighted the beauty and at the same time the current tragedy in the Mediterranean. He asked the Franciscan family to join forces so that no one feels alone in their work, but rather part of a fraternity in the “Mare Nostrum” and that this is not, as Pope Francis has said, “a cemetery”, but an open house for all.

After the words of welcome by the Franciscan Custody of Morocco in the person of Br. Jean de Dieu, there was a day of reflection with a historical look at the Mediterranean introduced by Br. Giuseppe Buffon, the eyewitness testimony of migrants and the exhibition of good practices by the Jesuit Migra Studium Foundation of Barcelona, ​​in the person of Margarita García and Saving Humans Mediterranea, represented by Luca Casarini.

The Franciscan Network of the Mediterranean is woven by men and women, lay and religious people, from the Franciscan family committed to the areas working with migrants and refugees, with dialogue/peace and youth.