The Franciscan Action Network has re-designed its website in order “to better communicate the wonderful work for social and ecological justice of the Franciscan family,” says Patrick Carolan, executive director of FAN. He added: “We wanted a more vibrant site to display the vibrancy of the Franciscan family and its prophetic action for justice. We believe this site will help FAN become an even stronger vehicle of the Franciscan family for justice by helping to organize issue campaigns, catalyze work with young adults, and develop more interconnections among Franciscans across the country.”
The current priorities of FAN’s work, which are focused on three initiatives, can be found on the website. They are:
1.) Immigration Reform — FAN supports the bipartisan Senate bill S744 and continues to work with grassroots Franciscans in partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and interfaith groups for just immigration reform. This includes: a path to citizenship, family reunification, protecting both migrants and U.S. workers, due process protections on deportations, and addressing the root causes of migration by strengthening the economies of sending countries.
2.) Franciscan Earth Corps — FAN is actively working with friars, sisters and lay Franciscans to strengthen the Franciscan charism among young adults aged 18 to 35. Parishes and other institutions have begun Franciscan Earth Corps chapters in cities including Silver Spring, Md., with Jacek Orzechowski OFM, of St. Camillus Parish; Syracuse; Albany, where Rob Breen, OFS, started the first group in 2003; Long Island, N.Y.; Tampa, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and the town of Nogales on the Arizona-Mexico border. An appeal for FEC appears on the webpage.
3.) Franciscan Climate Campaign — FAN has been working at both the national and grassroots levels to address climate change. Through the network’s involvement in the National Partnership for Climate Solutions, Franciscans are engaging elected officials from across the political spectrum to find common ground. FAN also hosts monthly webinars, on the first Thursday of each month from 4 to 5 p.m. EST, that build grassroots teams on climate change with an average attendance of 60 individuals across the country. The webinars integrate spirituality with action and focus on building the broad-based coalitions necessary to transform the political gridlock on solutions.
— Lonnie Ellis is director of organizing and development of the Franciscan Action Network.