The August-September 2020 edition of ‘Fraternitas’ is now online and can be downloaded in several languages.
Dear Brother Secretaries of Mission-Evangelization,
Peace and Good!
From the SGME we want to reach you with a greeting of solidarity and hope. In solidarity with the difficulties that you and the communities that you accompany are living in these moments of pandemic because of the Covid19, and also of hope, because in faith in the Risen Lord we know that this is not the end, and that we can glimpse a better future and “a new normality”.
It is worth reading this text:
“We are called to an attitude of hope, beyond the paralyzing effect of two opposite temptations: on the one hand, the resignation that passively undergoes events; on the other, the nostalgia for a return to the past, only longing for what was there before. Instead, it is time to imagine and implement a project of human coexistence that allows a better future for each and every one” (Pontifical Academy for Life, Humana Communitas in the Age of Pandemic: Untimely Meditations on Life’s Rebirth“, 22.07.2020).
All of us are called to collaborate in this dream and in the emergence of a better future, as this is our task as evangelizers, to announce a better world – according to the coordinates of the Kingdom of God – and to collaborate in the creation of the conditions that make it real.
This letter is also an invitation to read the Instruction that the Vatican has just published on the Parish: “The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church” by the Congregations for the Clergy, 20.07.2020.
There are many entities, fraternities and confreres involved in parish work. We know that from the parish we can make a good and great evangelization.
We would like to remind you that before this instruction, our Order, through the SGME, had already published a text on the parish in 2009: “Sent to Evangelize in Fraternity and Minority in the Parish“. Confronting the two texts we see how ours, not only goes ahead to touch on some themes that appear in the instruction, but also gives us many clues for action, along with a reading of the “signs of the times”, which does not appear in the present instruction.
Let us dare to read, together with the instruction, our text on EVANGELIZATION IN THE PARISH, as brothers and minors, seeking to be also, “outgoing parish”, community of communities, promoter of evangelization. The invitation is also to share this letter and these texts with the secretaries of Evangelization of your entities and to invite them to read them and to make, from them, an evaluation of our projects and evangelizing practices.
The text of the Instruction can be found at this address:
The Order’s Handbook for Parish Ministry:
English: Sent to Evangelize in Fraternity and Minority in the Parish
Español: Enviados a Evangelizar en Fraternidad y Minoridad en la Parroquia
Italiano: Inviati per Evangelizzare in Fraternità e Minorità nella Parrocchia
Let us take advantage of this time of confinement to update and revise our evangelizing practice from the “outgoing parish”.
Rome, July 25th 2020
Br. Alonso Morales, ofm
Br. Valmir Ramos, ofm
Br. Antonio Lanzi, ofm
DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF:
“A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (LS n.164)
Over the past few years, the climate crisis has demonstrated the need to look for new alternative renewable energy systems. In various countries, the Franciscan friars have been carrying out a process of energy transition in their houses, parishes and schools; the majority have opted for solar energy.
We discover that it is a slow process and that sometimes it is difficult to decide to begin, but at the same time, we know with hope that it is not impossible. First of all, we must become aware of the environmental problems and particularly think, reflect and discern from the perspective of the victims of the environmental crisis. Only if we can relate the environmental crisis with the social crisis will we be convinced that change is necessary. We believe that we need significant changes that involve the participation of many people on a global scale, at the same time we think that meaningful change comes from below, from the home, the parish, the school, where we must be involved from the grassroots.
As part of the Laudato Si’ Revolution campaign, we are sharing some stories with you about energy transition in some of the Order’s fraternities. They are practical examples of friars who, together with their fraternities and pastoral communities, have ventured into renewable and low-pollution energy for the benefit of their communities and future generations. We invite you to read these stories, to share them with your fraternities and pastoral communities. Perhaps you will be the next to make the energy transition. You can read them here: www.laudatosirevolution.org/energy-transition/.
If you want to tell your story of energy transition, send it along with some pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Secular Franciscan and the Immigrant
For many centuries many people have been forced to live an exodus, the emigration from their land, and this problem still remains today as a real suffering for entire populations. Emigration therefore continues to be a topic of constant debate, which feeds more discussion than practical action. It is the paradox of our times in which globalization makes us say that “the world is a global village”, but in which nations are still divided, closed and hostile more than ever. Emigration and its consequence, immigration which is rooted in the opposition “between us and others” are increasingly causing a large number of internal conflicts. They are manifested in clashes between nationalities, ethnicities, political affiliations or religious beliefs, especially causing disadvantage to those who are persecuted in their country of origin, with consequent aggravation of problems in the countries of refuge. Unfortunately, people seem to have no memory of history and often refuse to learn from the past. It would be nice and constructive for everyone to be aware that they are pilgrims in the world, so as not to consider anyone as “different” because they belong to another nation.
- Koinonia 2020-2: “The Secular Franciscan and the Immigrant”– Fr. Pedro Zitha, OFM
The JPIC Office launched the Laudato Si’ Revolution on May 24, a global movement for integral and ecological conversion, i.e., environmental, economic, and social ecology. There are several initiatives in it, such as lifestyle change, energy transition, Laudato Si’ pilgrimage, etc.
The JPIC Office also collaborated with Br. Sandesh Manuel OFM, musician, guitarist, and YouTuber, for a series of video campaigns to promote the Revolution. The first video, released on July 15 – the feast of St. Bonaventure, is entitled, “Respect the Divine Good in Creation.” The powerful message of the video urges the viewers to change their perspectives and hearts to recognize the Creator in Creation.
“Christ is found in all creation, including the earth—we call home. The theology of creation by St. Bonaventure says that God can be found in all creatures because they are created out of God’s unconditional LOVE. According to him, the Creation is the open Bible (Bible and earth), the first Revelation. But few people realize that their actions and indifference towards the well-being of the earth and the people in the periphery are symbolic and synonymous with the suffering of our beloved Savior.
We need to create a new culture, a new civilization that gives full respect to the infinite Love and Goodness of God in Creation. Only then will we be able to sing together with St. Francis of Assisi and St. Bonaventure ‘Praised be the Lord of Creation (Laudato Si’ Mi Signore)!’ You and me, all of us are being called to this revolutionary mission today, the revolution of tenderness, the revolution of vigor: Laudato Si’ Revolution!”
Every single Franciscan is invited to this movement. Watch the video:
Marking the fifth anniversary of the publication of the encyclical Laudato Si’, on the care of the common home, and at a time when humanity is going through one of the greatest health crises, Pope Francis has declared a special Laudato Si’ anniversary year. The themes addressed in the encyclical take on greater importance in the current context where social and ecological crises have become evident and acute. One need only look at the shameful inequality in access to health care in many countries.
Integral ecological conversion is one of the proposals made by the Pope in his letter, since the problems are not presented in an isolated way, but are interconnected. An integral conversion should encompass, among other things, the political, social, environmental and economic aspects. In this way, it will be possible to face the tremendous socio-environmental crisis that we are experiencing.
The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development calls on all humanity “to celebrate a special anniversary year of Laudato Si’ between 21 May 2020 and 24 May 2021. “We hope that the anniversary year and the ensuing decade will indeed be a time of grace, a true Kairos experience and “Jubilee” time for the Earth, and for humanity, and for all God’s creatures”. For this purpose, the DPIHD offers a programme highlighting the Laudato Si’ platform of initiatives as a call to various institutions to get involved and commit themselves to a long-term plan – 7 years – as a path towards full sustainability in the spirit of Laudato Si’.
Also, in June, the Interdicasterial Desk of the Holy See on Integral Ecology presented the document “On the way to the care of the common home – Five years after Laudato Si’”. The text is a call to action, providing elements that will guide and contribute to bringing the plans and projects on the care of the common home to life.
These two initiatives of the Holy See encourage and challenge us as Franciscans to commit ourselves to our way of life and our mission of care and safeguarding. Furthermore, we see with joy that, with the Laudato Si’ Revolution campaign, promoted by the JPIC offices of the Order and of the Franciscan Family, we are in full communion and harmony with the whole Church. “As individuals, fraternities, entities and as an international order, we feel strongly challenged to make a clear and radical option in the direction of the ways of living indicated by Laudato Si’” (PCO/18 n. 154).