WASHINGTON — Winter weather challenges have not slowed the efforts of the Franciscan Action Network in fighting for social justice causes. Just two weeks ago, FAN staff members and friends braved the cold on Jan. 22 to participate in the annual March for Life on the National Mall.
The FAN group met up with representatives of Pax Christi and other organizations to promote the dignity of life. Several participants attended a pre-event Mass, on Jan. 21, celebrated by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., that was held at the Franciscan Monastery, home to FAN’s new offices.
In his homily, Cardinal O’Malley spoke of the importance of promoting a consistent ethic of life for the unborn and for all people, according FAN’s Jan. 27 newsletter. Photos of the event are on FAN’s Facebook page.
As the NFL Super Bowl news coverage raised awareness about human trafficking, FAN signed a petition to encourage local law enforcement agencies in the towns surrounding the stadium in North Jersey to respond to this issue. The nearly seven-year-old organization also encouraged Franciscans who were gathering to watch the game to pray for victims of this crime, which it calls modern-day slavery.
This week, on Feb. 3 and 4, FAN staff offered faith and ethical perspectives at the eighth session of the United Nations Working Groups on Sustainable Development Goals for Oceans. FAN is a part of the Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign, a joint program with the U.S. National Religious Coalition on Creation Care and its international affiliates, Franciscans International and the World Stewardship Institute.
The campaign works with scientific advisers and ocean conservation organizations, to ensure the marine science is on target and up to date, according to the newsletter. Common principles of faith and science come together to “catalyze a united religious movement to care for ocean systems, species, and coastal communities,” according to the FAN newsletter. For more information, visit the IOEC website or the website of the Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign.
The Franciscan Action Network encourages friars and their partners-in-ministry to participate in next week’s Preach-in on Climate Change, an annual initiative. Free global warming preach-in kits that include sample bulletin inserts can be found online to help initiative discussions during the weekend of Feb. 14.
Last summer, FAN held an ecology event at the Province’s San Damiano Hall in New York City.
— Wendy Healy is a Connecticut based freelance writer and a frequent contributor to HNP Today.