SILVER SPRING, Md. — As 2012 comes with its opportunities and challenges, the Province’s JPIC Office and Directorate encourage Holy Name Province ministries to include two key events in their upcoming plans — EAD 2012 and the 2012 JPIC Local Contacts Retreat.
The Ecumenical Advocacy Days, March 23-26, 2012 in Washington, D.C., afford HNP ministries a terrific opportunity to devote time and energy to two of the Province-wide priorities referenced in the 2011-2012 JPIC Plan of Action: 1) the ongoing goal of working for justice with other religious traditions, as called for by the Spirit of Assisi, and 2) the need to focus on the federal budget and its impact on the poor — the very theme of this year’s gathering.
As in years past, the Holy Name Province Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office’s goal is to have each of the Provincial ministries represented at the March event.
“A strong Franciscan presence at EAD will make clear our charism’s commitment to standing with the poor and marginalized,” said Russell Testa, director of the Province’s JPIC Office. Additionally, with the 2012 elections approaching, this year’s EAD program will offer key skills-building workshops to equip participants to more effectively work for advocacy and influence the direction of national priorities through the election process. Information, including how to register for EAD 2012: “Is THIS the Fast I Seek? Economy, Livelihood and Our National Priorities,” is available on AdvocacyDays.org.
This year’s JPIC Local Contacts Retreat will be held June 8 to 10, at St. Francis Springs Prayer Center in Stoneville, N.C. The annual event offers participants the chance to meet face-to-face, share ideas as well as challenges, and find community. The retreat setting alternates from year to year between a northern and southern location. The southern venue of this year’s gathering always provides a lovely backdrop and wonderful hospitality.
The JPIC Office strongly encourages each Province ministry to send at least one representative to the weekend event that runs Friday evening through Sunday at noon. Registration forms are available from the HNP JPIC Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-680-2200).
Limited scholarship funds for both of these events are available for HNP ministries in need of financial assistance by contacting Testa (301-680-2200).
Other JPIC Efforts
The Province’s JPIC Office, JPIC Directorate and Hispanic Ministry Committee are working with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., to develop resources to assist immigrants and those who interact closely with them. A conference call between representatives from CLINIC and those HNP ministries with strong ties to immigrant communities is planned for Jan. 25. According to Testa, CLINIC is looking to bolster its support to immigrants through insights from those in HNP ministries with close connections to the immigrant community.
The JPIC Office staff continues its monthly resource mailings (and emails) to Holy Name Province local contacts and guardians in an effort to better support JPIC work at the local ministry or parish level. Most recently circulated materials include a reflection from JPIC Directorate chair Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, “Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Call to Environmental Justice,” and information on a new JustMatters’ program, In the Spirit of St. Francis and the Sultan: Muslims and Christians Working Together for the Common Good.
This month will bring promotion of a program from the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center in Louisville, Ky., Lent 4.5-Christian Simplicity.
The JPIC Office and JPIC Directorate are committed to helping Province ministries continue to live out the Franciscan call to promote justice, peace and creation care. Program promotion, advocacy training, community building between ministries, and other means of education and exchange allow this vital work to continue.
The office welcomes suggestions from ministries for additional ways it might provide them support in their efforts.
— Fran Eskin-Royer is senior staff assistant in the HNP Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, located just outside Washington, D.C.