The JPIC directorate met at the Provincial Office May 19 to discuss how to animate and expand the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation activities of HNP. Discussions ranged from strategizing about influencing the immigration debate in Congress to developing plans to assist HNP ministries in twining with other ministries.
Attending the meeting were Anne Tunney (Triangle), Daniel Dwyer, John Gill, James McIntosh, Caroline Townes (31st Street), Cecilia Cardesa-Lusardi (Wilmington), Mathias Doyle, Jacek Orzechowski (via phone for the Eco-Bolivia discussion) and Russell Testa. Absent was Michael Jones who was on his way home from visiting Hartford’s twin parish in Haiti.
The directorate discussed how to better integrate itself with other directorates and activities of the Province, especially the visioning and planning committee.
Also discussed was the Engage nonviolence training program, developed by the Pace e Bene Center, and whether it could be used as the primary vehicle for moving forward the Chapter 2005 peacemaking proposal. Specifically, the question was discussed whether we should begin planning to use this program in the Province in the fall of 2007.
The directorate decided to move ahead with the writing of short tracts for the friars on elements of Franciscan peacemaking. Russ Testa will write the first one on “What is Franciscan Peacemaking?”
Twining was next on the agenda. At Chapter 2005, it was decided that every ministry in the Province would explore “twining” with another Franciscan entity. The directorate discussed the possibility that the Provincial Office might choose to twin with the custody in Pakistan, and the possibilities of other ministries twining with ministries in the Holy Land. Having training sessions was discussed, as well as developing a “best practices” handbook. It was decided to survey the guardians to find out which HNP ministries currently have a twining relationship or are actively working on starting one.
With regard to community investing, a number of options was discussed including investing with Catholic Relief Services or with Partners for the Common Good.
The directorate discussed how to develop the discussion about immigration reform within HNP. A resource packet that can be sent to each ministry with action ideas will be developed.
It was decided to start a consistent ethic of life working group, and the membership of this group was discussed.
Eco-Bolivia is a project of the Franciscans in Bolivia to support and develop a reserve in one of the most bio-diverse areas of the world. They requested the assistance of the JPIC directorate in funding this project. The directorate noted that it is not a funding body, but debated ways in which it could support and encourage the project.
Russ Testa shared his plans to move from working half-time for HNP and half-time for the Washington Theological Union to working full-time for HNP. His office will remain at WTU, at least for the next year.
The directorate discussed replacing a friar who can no longer serve on the directorate, and who else might be kept in mind in case there are future vacancies.
Finally, Russ Testa discussed the possibility of the opening of a Franciscan Family JPIC office in Washington, the upcoming English-speaking Conference JPIC animators meeting along the U.S.-Mexico border Oct. 29-Nov. 3, next year’s Ecumenical Advocacy Days, and the possibility for a Franciscan Family JPIC animation training seminar in the summer of 2007 or 2008.
The next meeting of the directorate will be August 28 at Holy Name College.