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Order Update: JPIC Meetings in Poland and Other News from Curia

Participants in the JPIC meeting in Katowice, Poland, included Jacek Orzechowski, standing fourth from left.

The following descriptions summarize recent news from the Order of Friars Minor. Additional details can be found by visiting the links to the news items mentioned as well as by following the Order of Friars Minor on Facebook and Twitter. These Curia updates are published monthly in this newsletter.

► The leaders of the five Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation conferences in Europe met in Katowice, Poland, with heads of the JPIC Office of the General Curia and the JPIC Animation Committee. Participating in the Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 gathering were representatives of the COMPI, CONFRES, COTAF, North Slavic and South Slavic conferences. Representing Holy Name Province was Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, a native of Poland. The meeting was conveniently held in Katowice because the COP24 – the U.N. conference on climate change commenced there on Dec. 3, which brought 30,000 people from around the world, including government delegations and civic organizations, to the Polish city. It was an opportunity to begin taking important and decisive steps to safeguard future generations. From Nov. 12 to 17, the JPIC animators of the African Conference gathered in Pretoria, South Africa, where they discussed their work in various settings of the African continent. They focused on different realities that influence men, women and all of creation, including problems of pollution, access to water, forced migration, trafficking, and armed conflicts, according to an article on the OFM website.

► General Minister Fr. Michael Perry released a letter for World AIDS Day 2018, commemorated each year on Dec. 1. He encouraged global prayer in his letter, which began, “This year is the 30th year that people of good will everywhere in the world are called to reflect on the HIV and AIDS pandemic, its impact on the entire human community, and the need for vigilance and solidarity. More than 36 million brothers and sisters live with HIV, of which nearly 2 million are children,” he said. “Nearly 2 million people became infected in 2017. Since the virus HIV was discovered, more than 77 million have become infected while more than 35 million have died from AIDS-related illnesses.” He added, “During the month of December, I invite all of you my dear brothers to join with me, with the Church, and with other believers in offering prayer for our brothers and sisters living with HIV-AIDS, for their families, for those involved in seeking to find a cure and a vaccine, and who are helping identify vital financial resources to combat this pandemic.”

► The provincial ministers from the four conferences of UCLAF, the union of conferences of the provinces of Latin America and the Caribbean, marked the organization’s first 50 years by reflecting on the theme “50 Years of UCLAF, Memory and Prophecy,” at a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A message from UCLAF to the friars of the Order was published on the OFM website.

► The 2018 meeting of the General Minister and the Order’s general visitors took place from Nov. 12 to 16 at the General Curia in Rome. In his message to those present, General Minister Fr. Michael Perry said, “… be instruments of hope and effective signs of the presence of the Kingdom of God in our midst. Let us continue… by praying that each one of us might walk by faith, placing all of our trust in God, and allowing the values of God’s Kingdom to take root in our hearts.”

► The singing friar, Br. Alessandro Brustenghi, OFM, performed on Dec. 5 in Belfast, Ireland, according to the Belfast Telegraph. The world-renowned recording artist was among the guests at the Christmas carol service hosted by the Pro Bono Choir at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

► Several books are recommended in the December issue of Fraternitas, the Order’s monthly newsletter. Among them is Enjoying God’s Gifts by Kevin Mackin, OFM, of St. Petersburg, Fla. This collection of homilies features drama, wisdom and humor, and illuminates Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, and Ordinary Time, according to the publication produced by Fathers Alvin Te, OFM, and Caoimhin, O’Laoide, OFM.

Information about the Order can be found on OFM.org and news about the English-speaking Conference, one of 14 conferences in the Order, can be found on ESCOFM.org.

— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas, director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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