Learn about the purpose of Franciscan Voice Canada and our mission to be a voice for the voiceless, why advocacy, what is JPIC and how you can contribute to this website. Above: Nolan's (12 yrs) Peace poster
1. About this site
Revised - February 2, 2019
The Franciscan Voice Canada (FVC) website was a Justice Peace and the Integrity of Creation initiative of the embryo National JPIC Commission (English Sector) of the National Fraternity of Canada of the Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis (OFS - Secular Franciscan Order). FVC evolved from the National JPIC Action Plan 2012 which was affirmed by the National Chapter of Elections, 27 May 2012, following which suggestions for a website and JPIC newsletter were made by the National Minister and others.
The official JPIC structures in the OFS are presently undergoing change driven internationally by decisions of the 2017 General Chapter and in Canada of the 2018 National Chapter. Some Regional Fraternities are also considering changes.
FVC is independent; its volunteer editors are not appointed by the National Council; but consider themselves responsive to that Council. The editors ensure content is in accord with Catholic Social Doctrine especially the encyclical Laudato Si’; the OFS Rule, General Constitutions & National Statutes of Canada; the Franciscan Family and Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops JPIC initiatives, etc.
FVC is particularly concerned about the future of our Sister Mother Earth in the face of climate change, the loss of biodiversity and unequal distribution of wealth. These are the most serious problems facing future generations and call for commitment to urgent and unprecedented responses.
2. Being a voice
There are two forms of advocacy:
Parrhesia means to speak clearly and boldly without fear or hesitation. Benedetto Lino, ofs, (a CIOFS Presidency Councillor) wrote this about parrhesia recently: “Today, more than ever, we should ask the Lord for the grace of parrhesia, for each one of us, for the whole SFO [sic] and for our churches.” Parrhesia applies to all JPIC activity and especially to Franciscan Voice Canada.
Go to our Action for the latest calls for action.
Link to the Links pages for other organizations.
3. Why Advocacy?
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matt 5:7 NRSVCE
Advocacy is defined as speaking up on behalf of the powerless and voiceless in society to promote justice for people and creation. You can influence:
Advocacy is an important strategy and tool for all kinds of charity and JPIC social action; and was specifically called for by the XIII General Chapter of the OFS in 2011 (see FIOFS, CIOFS& Presence in the World Commission). Advocacy is the main ministry of Franciscans International at the United Nations.
4. About JPIC
Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is a term that originated in Vancouver, BC at the 1983 World Council of Churches' Assembly and was subsequently adopted by many religious organizations, including Catholics and the OFM and OFS. JPIC is a dimension of living Franciscan spirituality, of our vocation to live as Secular Franciscans according to the OFS Rule; it is part of our DNA which we share with all Franciscans.
All dimensions of our lives including prayer, fraternity, evangelization and apostolate are permeated by the values of JPIC. Living JPIC values will affect the way we see reality, politics, the economy, international relations, style of life and mission.
There are five bases for OFS commitment to JPIC:
Together they all propel and orient the OFS to take seriously the challenge to incarnate the values of JPIC in our fraternal and personal daily lives. These values cannot simply remain on paper; they must be addressed in concrete ways requiring daily conversion.
Living JPIC values makes our prayer and our celebration of the Eucharist more present to the realities of our society and the world around us. It encourages us to apply the Word to these realities in building the Kingdom of God which is based on "Justice, Peace and Joy in the Spirit.” (Rm 14:17)
For more on JPIC see Formation and Understanding JPIC.
Click below to see the JPIC Action Plans.
5. Contributing to this Site
We invite fellow OFS and Franciscan Family members to contribute to this site and newsletter. The Franciscan Voice Canada website and newsletter are designed to raise awareness of the cry of the earth and cry of the poor & the common good in our common home. It also draws attention to possible concrete actions especially in raising our voice to speak to power and advocate for the powerless and amplify their voice.
In choosing content, we are guided by:
This content when placed online becomes very public which is its intention. In an attempt to keep a safe and secure location for our communication, guidelines have been established. It is also a guideline for the Commission and its related committees for selecting and approving issues to which we are called to action. Click to read the specific guidelines in the Website Posting Protocol.
Above: Nolan's (12 yrs) Peace poster
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Franciscan Voice Canada
"And what does the Lord require of you? "
"To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
“The Lord God took man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it”