UBERLANDIA, Brazil – The Second International JPIC Congress opened here on Jan. 30 as part of the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Order. A Congress is when friars from each entity of the Order are invited to attend a meeting to reflect on a particular issue. For this Congress, almost 100 friars have gathered from over 36 different countries throughout the world to discuss the theme: “Embracing the Excluded of Today.”
Near the 800th anniversary of Francis’s embrace of the leper, the Congress is meeting for 10 days to discuss the identity of the excluded in today’s world, the processes that exclude them, how the excluded are organizing themselves, and how Franciscans are involved in this process of organization. The participants will spend this weekend visiting and living with the people of this area who have become landless and are now organizing to regain their lands.
Russ Testa, our Provincial JPIC animator, is present as the representative for Holy Name Province. Joe Rozansky is organizing the Congress as part of his job at the JPIC office in the General Curia, and Jim McIntosh is working in the secretariat. Joe Ehrhardt is here from Kenya, representing his Province of East Africa. There is also a Brazilian friar, Francisco Rodriguez de Oliveira, OFM, from the Brazilian Holy Name Province, who did his novitiate with our Province and says he was a classmate of John O’Connor.
Daily summaries of the sessions of the Congress, as well as photos and videos, can be found at the Congress’s Web site: www.ofm-jpic.org/congress2006.