13 May Franciscans International: 30 years at the United Nations
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
It is with great joy that I present this publication on behalf of the Conference of the Franciscan Family:
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As we mark the 30th anniversary of our common ministry at the United Nations, the stories before you offer a window into the work of Franciscans International, both past and present. With it, we also pay tribute to Brother Dionysius Mintoff OFM and the late Sister Elizabeth Cameron OSF, who first recognized the need for Franciscans to engage with the international community in search for common, just, lasting solutions to the most intractable of social and environmental problems.
When they suggested bringing our voices to the UN in 1982, many of us immediately felt a strong affinity with this idea. The core values enshrined in the founding charter of the UN echo Francis’ and Clare’s dedication to peace, the poor, and the planet. We also felt a responsibility. If the UN is indeed the forum where leaders of the world gather to make the decisions that affect all of us sharing this common home, we need to be there – to build bridges, to bring people together, and to share our testimony.
Although the development of our ministry has, at times, been tumultuous, it has always been a powerful channel for dialogue and positive change. Through its presence in New York and Geneva, it amplifies the voices of our sisters and brothers working at the grassroots, where many share their lives with the people and are subject to similar conditions – those that are contrary to the will of God and an affront to human freedom, dignity, and integral development of persons, communities, and nations.
Thirty years after FI was officially recognized by the UN, we find ourselves at a crossroads in history that is defined both by its promise for progress as well as the threat of regression and isolation. As we face this challenge, we remain convinced that FI’s role as our voice at the UN remains as important as ever.
On behalf of the Generals and Representatives of the Conference of the Franciscan Family, I wish to state unequivocally our gratitude to all those Franciscans and others who have worked directly or indirectly with FI over these past three decades, and to guarantee our commitment to the mission for which itwas created and towards which it continues to journey.
Peace and all good.
On behalf of the Conference of the Franciscan Family,
Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM
Members of the Conference of the Franciscan Family (2020)
Michael Perry OFM • Carlos Alberto Trovarelli OFMConv • Roberto Genuin OFMCap
Amando Trujillo Cano TOR • Deborah Lockwood IFC-TOR • Tibor Kauser OFS