Friars and Partners Attend Engage Franciscan Peacemaking Program

Russell Testa Features

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eighteen friars and partners (PIMs) from seven Holy Name ministries, along with a friar guest from the Sacred Heart OFM Province, recently completed facilitator training for the Engage Franciscan Peacemaking Program.

Engage Franciscan Peacemaking is a specially modified program designed by the Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service specifically for the HNP to help carry out its Chapter 2005 mandate to “live Franciscan peacemaking at all levels of the Province.” This mandate was reaffirmed at the Chapter of Mats in 2007.

Held at Washington Theological Union from July 19 to 21, the training was an intense three-day process that allowed each participant to facilitate and receive feedback.

Pace e Bene redesigned an existing program to fit the needs of HNP. The new program is infused with more Franciscan spirituality and Catholic social teaching. The program was also redesigned to be completed in 10 sessions instead of 12. With 10 sessions, the program can begin the week after the Feast of St. Francis and end before Christmas.

In the promotional materials from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office (JPIC), the following results are promised: At the end of the Engage Franciscan Peacemaking process, each ministry will have a core of skilled peacemakers able to help the ministry take a stronger peacemaking position in the work of the Church. However, this process is not necessarily about creating new programs in your ministry; rather, it can help enhance the programs you are already doing, making them more effective at bringing forward the peace of God through their actions.

The facilitator training was led by two Pace e Bene trainers, Thea Neitfeld from Oklahoma and Ken Preston-Pile from California, chief redesigner of the program. Friars and ministries who participated included:
Charles Miller and two PIMs from St. Francis in Triangle, Va., Steven Pavignano and three PIMs from St. Patrick-St. Anthony in Hartford, Conn., three PIMs from St. Francis Springs Prayer Center near Greensboro, N.C., and one PIM each from St. Joseph in East Rutherford, N.J., Our Lady of Holy Angels in Little Falls, N.J., St. Mary in Pompton Lakes, N.J., and Immaculate Conception in Durham, N.C. The JPIC animator of the Sacred Heart Province, Jim Hoffman, OFM, also participated in the training and learned how to bring this process to his province ministries.

The next three-day training session is scheduled for Sept. 7 to 9 here. A few slots are still available. To register, contact the Province’s JPIC Office 202-541-5245 or JPIC@HNP.ORG.

— Russ Testa is director of the HNP Justice, Peace and Integrity in Creation Office in Washington, D.C. He is shown at bottom right in photograph.