28 Mar Franciscans International begins 30th Anniversary Celebrations
2019 marks Franciscans International’s 30th anniversary and it is being celebrated in three phases: in Geneva (March), in Rome and Assisi (July) and in New York (November).
Minister General, Br. Michael A. Perry, was present at the Geneva event. At the Mass on 16th March 2019, he shared the following words in his homily:
Following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscans International began 30 years ago as a concrete response of Franciscan men and women, religious and lay, who had witnessed firsthand the consequences of social exclusion, violence, abuse of fundamental human rights. These same Franciscans also recognized that violence leaves no one unscathed: oppressed and oppressor alike. Recognizing the potential for collaboration between the core elements of Franciscan spirituality and its vision of the human person and the natural environment, and the core values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, FI has worked tirelessly to promote a constant dialogue between spiritual and humanistic values seeking strategic areas for joining forces, thus forging bonds of cooperation for the advancement of all peoples and protection of our endangered planet.
The words of the Gospel writer, “love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you,” (cf. Mt. 5:44-45) are as relevant today as ever to the mission of Franciscans International, and even to that of the United Nations. They challenge all those who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all who self-identify as people of faith, to enter into the ‘fray’ of the human struggle for life, peace, security, dignity, fundamental rights, and the promotion of a world where all peoples might share in the fruits of the earth. These are not words referring to some unattainable utopian dream having nothing to do with the reality of human existence, its inequalities, its sufferings. Rather, they are prophetic words declaring to all peoples in every age the true destiny of all of human life, human societies, and the natural environment.
Franciscans International (FI) is a non-profit, international non-governmental human rights organisation established in 1989. Its staff consists of professionals of diverse backgrounds working to translate grassroots voices in human rights advocacy action at the United Nations level. Franciscans International seeks to promote and protect human rights and environmental justice.