Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

HNP Communications Around the Province

WASHINGTON — Engaging children in the Franciscan care for creation is the theme of a Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Webinar at 7:30 p.m. on March 4.

The Province’s JPIC Office and the JPIC and Evangelization directorates are working with Catholic Relief Services, and others are organizing the “Care for Creation” Webinar, to discuss integrating JPIC concepts into religious education programs.

Russell Testa, JPIC animator, said the Webinar “addresses one of the goals in the HNP Provincial strategic plan 2008 to 2013 — to develop comprehensive resources that will assist our friars, partners and ministers to teach, preach and model responsible care for creation.”

Youth ministers, directors of religious education, catechists, and friars who work with children and youth are encouraged to attend the one-hour Webinar, said Fran Eskin-Royer, JPIC Office assistant. The Webinar will also provide the sharing of resources for the Earth Day celebration in April and convey best practices in engaging children.

This initiative is part of a plan to identify four or five days each year, such as World Food Day or World Day of Peace, during which religious educators could incorporate JPIC concepts into existing lesson plans, according to Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, JPIC Directorate co-chair. 

Registration for the Webinar can be done online. More Webinars are being planned throughout the year. Information is available through Jacek at jacekofm2002@yahoo.com. 301-502-7621, or Testa at jpic@hnp.org, 202-527-7561. 

Immigration Reform
Care for creation is just one of the many initiatives on which the JPIC Office is working. 

The recent Franciscan Action Network e-letter said that FAN and its member organizations including Holy Name Province are working hard “to make the promise of humane, sustainable and comprehensive immigration reform a reality,” although it admits that passage of any U.S. legislation is expected to be tough. 

“As Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people, we are famous for taking on seemingly ‘foolish’ enterprises. Our stance is rooted in a firm commitment to the Gospels and a deep-seeded love for humans on the margins of society — a place where immigrant persons are certainly found. We also have a great ability to use these two facets of our spirituality to build on even the slightest of hope,” the e-letter read.

FAN is hopeful, however, that any legislation being pondered in the Congress will move forward, especially in the next few months. 

FAN provides several resources for ministries to learn more about this issue, including a video, “A Franciscan Perspective on Immigration,” the JustFaith Program Immigration supplement and more. 

Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Testa and FAN’s leaders encourage participation in the 2010 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, to be held March 19 to 22 in Washington, D.C. The event is called “A Place to Call Home: Immigration, Migration & Displaced Persons.”

EAD provides an opportunity to visit state legislators on Capitol Hill in person, which is said to be the most effective grassroots advocacy action. EAD also provides opportunity for prayer, networking and skill-development. 

The Franciscan Action Network will have a session on Saturday afternoon, exploring human trafficking. “We will share where our communities have been, as well as possibilities for action on behalf of those who are trafficked,” according to the FAN newsletter. 

The EAD early registration discount deadline is Feb. 19.