Worldwide JPIC Offices Offer Updates

HNP Communications Franciscan World

ROME — The Order’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, directed by Joseph Rozansky, OFM, has reported on its recent activities, events and news through emails and online newsletters.

The most pressing news comes from an email from friars working in Syria, whose friaries were hit by gunfire. The JPIC office passed along the following note that was distributed Oct. 9 by the secretary of the Custody of the Holy Land.

Syria Situation
“All of the friars here in Syria are well. The situation in Aleppo is increasingly difficult. On Aug. 31, a howitzer hit our friary in Ram. It struck the northeast corner of the house; the wall was damaged and some stones fell, two windows were broken, and the roof of a storage shed that we had just repaired due to an earlier explosion also fell. Many doors and windows in the school were also broken. The school has been taken over by the government, and the doors and windows had been repaired after the first explosion.

“Another howitzer attack struck our property in front of the church and friary in Azizieh. It struck the second floor of the building with relatively little damage. It was good that the residents were not home at the time.”

The friars asked for “the prayers of St. Francis and all of our saints so that we might be protected during this very difficult time.”

Helpful Resources   
A variety of seminars, workshops and resources have been compiled in the September/October Newsbrief, published by the executive office for JPIC of USG/UISG, describing recent events such as the International Theological Conference held earlier this month in Rome. The publication, for both the male and female superiors of religious orders, according to Joe, reported the following:
•   A seminar scheduled for Dec. 1 marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. Fr. José Ignacio González Faus, SJ, will speak about the presuppositions Gaudium et Spes has regarding the relationship of the Church with the world and Christian spirituality
•   A workshop offered by the JPIC Office for new International JPIC promoters from Nov. 22 to 25. Information and application forms may be downloaded from the JPIC wiki
•   Prayer resources in many languages, including Spanish, are available for World Migration Day on Dec. 18. Resources may be downloaded on the following website link. Other language translations are in progress
•   Resources for building parish justice and peace groups, including a training manual
•   A document about Rio + 20 titled “The Future We Want” is also available by downloading it on the website

The Order’s September Contact newsletter reports on several pieces of JPIC news, including an August seminar titled “Peace-Building: Human Rights and Religion” in Bogota, Colombia, in cooperation with the University of St. Bonaventure in Bogota. It also provides a list of the international days observed by the United Nations. Past issues of Contact are available on the Justice and Peace page of the HNP website.

Joe, who is leading the 2013 interprovincial retreat for U.S. friars in January, gave a workshop last week in Brussels to those who were taking a course to prepare them as missionaries. Participants included Capuchins, Conventuals, and members of the Order of Friars Minor.

— Wendy Healy, a Connecticut-based freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.