Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
The pursuit of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is one of the chief priorities of the Franciscans and flows naturally from the life of St. Francis and the Franciscan movement that he inspired in pursuit of the Gospel Life.
Francis’s love of Jesus inspired him to public preaching, and to take on the concerns of others. He reached out to the leper, the poor, and the marginalized, recognizing Christ’s presence in them. He proclaimed God’s love and peace, actively fostering reconciliation between warring parties. In all of creation, he perceived God’s love and beauty. His life was marked by intense religious experiences, which drew him deeper into the mystery of God. Francis made the message of God’s love understandable to ordinary people.
In the book Francis of Assisi: A Model for Human Liberation, Leonardo Boff gives a great deal of insight on how “some aspects of [Francis’] life make him particularly relevant for our times.” Among these traits is Francis’ “living out of universal kinship,” one that Boff views as particularly “crucial today when all cultures and religions encounter one another and can generate conflict and even war, due to lack of dialogue and true encounter.”
From Francis and the early friars, with their simple greeting of “Pace e Bene” (Peace and All Good) up to our current days, Franciscans have held the title “heralds of peace.” The violence of our world and the shattered lives of so many continue to cry out simply for peace. Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people are needed more than ever to be entry points of God’s healing peace.
Franciscan Plea for the Soul of America
In the 2018 U.S. Franciscan statement for the Feast of St. Francis, we are invited to be engaged in the elections. Our particular hope is to help activate communities of person who are often marginalized in our society. If they are able to become more active in voting, then their particular needs will play a larger role in shaping our world. We suggest the following resources to do this:
- The League of Women Voters is one of the best organization for helping to get voters registered and out. We recommend contacting a local chapter and seeing how you can work with them. In particular, ask how you can help in supporting communities that are traditionally underrepresented in their voting patterns (e.g., communities of color, women, communities of immigrants who have gained citizenship, young people…) and working with them to determine how to increase their voter participation.
- Similarly, if there are local community organizations that work with marginalized communities, approach them to see how you can support them in getting out the vote.
- Several Catholic groups have developed a topical reflection on issues in the 2018 mid-term elections.