Get to know: One Franciscan Voice
Last week, members of Franciscan dioceses and orders gathered in Washington, D.C. to form a new Center for Action and a broad-based Franciscan Family Commission for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation. More than 130 leaders and social justice and peace representatives from the Franciscan provinces, congregations, Secular Franciscan Regions, and Ecumenical partners approved the new initiative in Baltimore last week.
The move represents an unprecedented effort within the Franciscan family to focus combined resources on social justice and peace advocacy. With the Center for Action, the Franciscan community – which comprises tens of thousands of Franciscans in the U.S., and the millions whom they serve – hopes to effectively influence social policy in order to transform the world.
We Franciscan brothers and sisters, Religious and Secular, from throughout the United States, gathered together in Baltimore, Maryland, to discern the possibility of a unified Franciscan Voice for justice. With great concern for dehumanizing issues in our society, we recognized trends contrary to our calling as followers of Christ. We see that we have the power to effectively advocate for the redistribution of resources, the responsible care for creation, and the healing of relationships within the Franciscan Family, the Church and society. To these ends, we commit ourselves and call all members of the Family to speak with one Franciscan Voice to effect the transformation of national social policy. By walking with our brothers and sisters who are poor and marginalized, we intend to advocate for peace and to reaffirm the dignity of all creation.
This is a notable step in the development of the Catholic social justice and peace movement. The Center for Action will provide Franciscans with a powerful voice on a wide array of issues, such as war, oppression, poverty, and the global climate crisis.
To find out more about the Franciscan community’s efforts, visit their web site at www.hnp.org.
Bonus: Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, speaks beautifully about his faith and how he is utterly humbled by mystery. Listen to him on NPR’s This I Believe.