WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Province’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation has announced dates for two fall facilitator training sessions for Holy Name’s Engage Franciscan Peacemaking process.
These two opportunities are open to new Engage Franciscan Peacemaking Process facilitators and also can be used as refreshers for veterans, said Russell Testa, the Province’s JPIC animator. The sessions are scheduled for:
• Sept.4-7 in Washington, D.C.
• Oct. 23-26 in Ringwood, N.J.
To enhance the program, Testa and Ken Preston-Pile of Pace E Bene have revised the 10-session guide that 23 HNP ministries used last year.
“This revision not only incorporates the learning from our HNP experience and deepens the level of Franciscan and spiritual content, but it streamlines many of the processes,” Testa said, adding “it is a greatly improved version of an already excellent tool.”
This next edition will be available after the September sessions, Testa said.
In a letter distributed recently to friars and partners involved with JPIC initiatives, Testa said he recommends inviting additional persons to participate in the facilitator training.
“By doing so, we increase the fold of those leading the effort to form persons to be Franciscan peacemakers,” he said. This is the second year that the “Engage” program is being offered by the Province.
In the recent letter, Testa said that Holy Name Province continues to be one of the leading voices in Washington working for long-team peacemaking efforts.
He said: HNP was instrumental in bringing an active voice to the Federal Budget discussions in an effort to add significant government personnel to the diplomatic service. With a considerable increase in U.S. diplomatic personnel, the United States, realistically, could have talk as its first option in situations of conflict. The Province also worked with other religious and secular partners to help craft legislation that would form and fund the Active Response Corps (civilian peacebuilder teams). The Active Response Corps would give a non-military peacebuilding option in situations of conflict or in post-conflict environments. It represents a valuable tool for the U.S. to use — and one that is supported by both the Pentagon and State Department
Pace E Bene, formed in 1989, works to “foster a just and peaceful world through nonviolent education, community-building, and action,” according to its Web site.
Formed by a small group of Franciscans and others, Pace e Bene is a growing community representing a diversity of spiritual traditions and cultural backgrounds that networks with nonviolence practitioners in many parts of the world.
Information about programs that Holy Name’s JPIC office offers is available by phoning Testa at 202-527-7561. Registration for the September program is being accepted through next week, he said.