FAN Plans Franciscan Ecology Event for July 30 in New York City

Jocelyn Thomas Franciscan World

NEW YORK — Those who want to learn more about the environment and/or network with like-minded young adults are welcomed to a July 30 reception and presentation at the Province’s San Damiano Hall, 127 West 31st St.

Environmental scientist Br. Keith Warner, OFM, of St. Barbara Province, and a lecturer at Santa Clara University, and Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, former sustainability policy advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will discuss “Franciscan Ecology: Defending Our Sister Mother Earth” from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is organized by the Franciscan Action Network and is a fundraiser for Franciscan Earth Corps, a national network of young adults acting on behalf of the environment, according to the event flyer.

Br. Keith, co-author of “Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth,” has taught at Santa Clara University since 2003 and currently serves as director of education for the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. He has developed courses and taught about the intersection of spirituality, justice and the environment at the center, and in the Environmental Studies Institute and the religious studies department. He has been published in journals on themes of environmental ethics, science practice, spirituality and justice.

Abdul-Matin is the author of “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet.” For more than a decade, he has dedicated himself to sustainability practices. In 2002, he helped to found the Brooklyn, N.Y., Academy for Science and Environment. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post,, The Daily Beast, and GOOD Magazine. In 2013, he was honored by NBC’s as one of 100 African Americans making history today.

Friars from a variety of communities, as well as representatives of Franciscans International and other organizations, are invited to attend the July 30 program.

Though registration is not required, FAN asks for RSVPs by emailing, as well as a $35 donation. Proceeds will benefit the Franciscan Earth Corps.  Information about the Franciscan Earth Corps can be found on the Franciscan Action Network website.

A reflection by Rhett Engelking, who recently left the health field to create Franciscan Earth Corps, in Washington, D.C., appears in the July 8 issue of the FAN newsletter.

The Franciscan Earth Corps is one of several FAN initiatives created to help advocate for caring for creation. Earlier this year, the six-year-old organization began a series of monthly webinars about climate change.

“We are starting Franciscan Earth Corps because of the concerns we have heard from friars,
sisters, and Secular Franciscans everywhere about the dwindling numbers of Franciscans, with the median age of most communities now around 60 or 70,” said Patrick Carolan, FAN’s executive director since 2010. “Yet, we can see signs that the appeal of St. Francis will endure — from Pope Francis to the leaders in 12 cities who are building Franciscan Earth Corps chapters — and the future is bright, as long as we are innovative in welcoming future generations of Franciscan-hearted people.” 

 Jocelyn Thomas