26 May Letter of Support for Franciscans International
May the Lord Grant You His Peace!
I am writing to inform you about recent developments at Franciscans International (FI), our Franciscan outreach at the United Nations. FI is a non-profit NGO with consultative status at the United Nations. It represents all branches of the Franciscan Family and helps bring the concerns of grassroots Franciscans to the international stage.
FI was founded over twenty-five years ago and is present in Geneva and New York. In recent years it has faced some serious financial challenges, and some Franciscans even heard that it had ceased to exist. I am happy to inform you that, quite the contrary, it has managed to come through a period of re-dimensioning and is now healthier than it has been for years, having managed to cut administrative costs and dedicate an ever larger percentage of the budget to its important advocacy work. It is on a much more solid financial basis.
FI is currently engaged in projects dealing with human rights issues, especially concerning extreme poverty, sustainable development, indigenous peoples, women and children, and business practices. One of its main venues of action is in response to the Universal Periodic Review, an evaluation that each nation must present every four and a half years concerning its human rights record. FI can respond to the report and challenge reporting countries to deal with issues raised by Franciscans at the grassroots level.
In recent months, FI has decided to strengthen its presence in New York, especially in the Security Council and the Commission on Sustainable Development.
This organization depends upon Franciscans to support its many activities. The support of groups and individual Franciscans helped it to weather its past financial difficulties, and FI depends upon the Franciscan Family for continued support of its important work.
How can you help? Obviously, financial contributions and information concerning possible donors (individuals and organizations) are always needed. FI also depends upon you for your grassroots help, organizing study sessions and providing information needed for possible interventions at the UN. FI is open to Franciscans who would want to volunteer their assistance or possibly even work as interns at one of their offices. Finally, and possibly most importantly, FI needs your prayers to do God’s work in a world filled with contrary values. Please lift up the staff and their work in your prayers.
FI is our common project as Franciscans in the fields of Peace, Justice and the Integrity of Creation at an international level. It reflects and promotes our Franciscan values on the world stage. Please support them as you can and please share this information with other Franciscans in your region.
Rome, 26 May 2017
Br. Michael Anthony Perry, OFM