FAN Hosts Webinars

HNP Communications Features

WASHINGTON — In its continuing efforts to build awareness for social issues close to Franciscan thinking, the Franciscan Action Network hosted several webinars in February.

The most recent webinar, held on leap year day, Feb. 29, “Leaping into Public View: Training in Media Strategy,” featured John Gehrin of Faith in Public Life, and Lonnie Ellis of FAN.

Gehring, senior writer and Catholic outreach coordinator at Faith in Public Life in Washington, D.C., discussed his tips for getting covered by the media. He used the example of FAN’s upcoming event on “money in politics,” to make his points. He covered messaging, pitching a reporter, and writing a news release.

Earlier this month, FAN sponsored a webinar on the recent conference on immigration sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services and Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., in Salt Lake City, Utah. On Feb. 22, FAN staff member Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, and FAN Action Commissioner Kent Ferris, OFS, shared what they learned at the Jan. 11 to 13 conference on immigration

Annual Advocacy Days March 23 to 26
Weekly newsletters have publicized FAN’s online programs as well as live events.

“Is THIS the Fast I Seek? Economy, Livelihood and Our National Priorities” is the theme of Ecumenical Advocacy Days, March 23 to 26, in the nation’s capital. This year, Christians mark the 10th anniversary of EAD. FAN staff, action commissioners and members will be participating.

This EAD event will explore the economy, livelihood and national priorities through the lens of Isaiah 58 and the prophet’s call to become “repairers of the breach and restorers of streets to live in.”

Attendees are asked to contact FAN’s executive director Patrick Carolan so he can coordinate a Franciscan gathering during the program.

Lonnie Ellis, FAN director of organizing and development, was admitted to the St. Anthony of Nagasaki fraternity of the OFS (Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, or Secular Franciscans) on Feb. 4. He has completed 18 months of formation and anticipates full profession in another year.

Ellis finds the following aspects of the Secular Franciscan Rule most compelling:
• “Let them individually and collectively be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives.”
• “Let them conform their thoughts and deeds to those of Christ by means of that radical interior change which the gospel calls ‘conversion.’ Human frailty makes it necessary that this conversion be carried out daily.”
• “Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs.”

July Course in California
Three leading Franciscan scholars will address environmental concerns in a two-week summer course titled “Creation, Humanity and Science in the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.”

The July 29 to Aug. 12 course at Old Mission in Santa Barbara, Calif., features Br. William Short OFM, dean of the Franciscan School of Theology and a top Franciscan scholar; Sr. Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ, internationally known for her pioneering work in the theology of John Duns Scotus; and Br. Keith Warner, OFM, a prolific writer on Franciscan environmental ethics.