Committee Formed to Explore National Franciscan Advocacy

Russell Testa In the Headlines

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten members of the Franciscan family of the U.S. met last week at the recommendation of the Holy Name Province Administration to form a steering committee for the purpose of discerning the possibility of establishing a Franciscan Office in Washington, D.C., that would work nationally for social justice advocacy.

Participants came from nearly every part of the family: OFM, OFM Conventual, sisters’ communities, and Secular Franciscan Order (SFO).  A Capuchin Franciscan representative will be involved in future planning and action.

The goal of the meeting, held Nov. 29 and 30 at Washington Theological Union, was to prepare the schedule and materials for a meeting in March that will comprise a member of provincial leadership and a JPIC representative from every province and SFO region that is interested in sending participants.  At this March 7 to 9 meeting, participants will plan a process to determine the best parameters for a vision of a national structure that will work across all interested lines of the Franciscan family in the U.S.

Earlier this year, the HNP Provincial Administration agreed to underwrite part of the cost of this discernment process and suggested the formation of this steering committee.  The leadership was responding to the observation that more coordination is needed among the Franciscan family for everyone to be more effective in efforts at social transformation, as well as a call from Franciscans outside of the U.S. to help influence U.S. international policy.

The steering committee for this effort includes persons with recognized expertise in JPIC action and connections to the wider Franciscan family:

  • Thomas Bello, SFO, national vice-minister for SFO
  • Marie Dennis, SFO, director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  • Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, former general minister Allegany Franciscan Sisters
  • Sheila Kinsey, OSF, coordinator of JPIC Office Wheaton Franciscans
  • Edward Falsey, OFM Conv., representing National OFM Conv. JPIC
  • Joe Nangle, former co-director Franciscan Mission Service
  • Michael Perry, OFM, Franciscans International and representing John Doctor, OFM, Provincial Minister of Sacred Heart Province,
  • Joe Rozansky, Rome, JPIC Office
  • Jim Zelinski, OFM Cap., national coordinator for OFM Cap. JPE
  • Russ Testa,  JPIC Animator Holy Name Province meeting coordinator, third from right in photo
  • Fran Eskin-Royer, HNP JPIC Office staff assistant meeting coordinator