ROME — Support for Japan and planning for a 10-day course on the environment are among the current initiatives of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office of the Order of Friars Minor. Donations have been coming into the General Curia to help those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last month.
Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of the JPIC Office for more than five years, said the appeal, posted on the Order’s website, is continuing and the response has been robust.
In the March issue of Contact, the OFM JPIC newsletter, Joseph said, in a note to readers, “I offer our sincerest sympathy to the people of Japan. Please count on our prayers and our solidarity as you work to rebuild your lives.” Joe said he had been in Japan “on the last leg of a visit to Asia,” just six days before the earthquake struck.
Joe also reported that Jim McIntosh, OFM, a technology specialist based in Maryland, recently travelled to Rome to help the JPIC Office staff learn computer skills and assist with formatting two articles on ecology that will be sent to all friars soon. One article is on the ecology in the daily life of the friars and the other is on environmental justice.
In other current activities of the Order’s JPIC Office:
• The office is busily preparing the JPIC course that will be held at the Antonianum May 3 to 13. According to the March issue of the JPIC newsletter Contact, “The Ethical Use of Environmental and Economic Resources” features nine seminars on issues related to the environment and the economy. Thirty-five people including friars who are JPIC animators from around the world had signed up, as of last week, according to Joseph. Those interested in registering for the course should email email@example.com.
• The next meeting of the Animation Committee is being planned for April 27 to May 1. The committee consists of two friars from the Rome office, as well as four friars from around the world including HNP alumnus Ignatius Harding, OFM, who serves in Bolivia, and three friars from Germany, Indonesia and Mozambique. “The task of the committee is to reflect on and prioritize the work we will be doing for JPIC,” said Joseph.
• Plans are also underway for the 25th anniversary of the Spirit of Assisi, the day of prayer and fasting for peace convoked by John Paul II in October 1986. A blog with resources for this celebration has been created. The JPIC directors of the Franciscan family have been working on this for over a year,” according to Joe.
The next issue of Contact will be published in May, Joe said.
— Compiled by Wendy Healy