Common Good


Secular Franciscan JPIC Monthly Newsletter
for Franciscan Voice Canada


Issue No 30,  December 2019
Buy Nothing Day vs Black Friday
.....for the love of Christ and Creation  

 “In Assisi, Catholics will lead a climate strike around the green hills that St. Francis walked,” says a statement on their website. “And around the world, we’ll walk with them in spirit,” referring to the global School Strike for Climate movement.
According to Tomás Insua, executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, an international network of over 800 Catholic organizations, the event - which began with a prayer led by Franciscan friars - is to denounce Black Friday.
To read more and hear the friars singing go to @CathClimateMvmt.
(Posted on Nov 29, 2019)
For the poor, every day is Black Friday because they seek deals just to survive – for them it is about their needs not wants

Spanish cardinal denounces spread of Black Friday sales to Europe

Read More at Andrew's Blog
Laudato Si' Advent
A Laudato Si’ Advent is full of the joy that comes with freeing ourselves from the constraints of a consumer culture. We allow ourselves to focus on what really matters: the connections and values we share.
The Humility of the Infant Jesus
Pope Francis issued a letter the first Sunday of Advent 2019, entitled ‘Admirabile Signum’, on the meaning and importance of the Nativity Scene where St. Francis of Assisi had the first ever Nativity Scene made in Greccio.
Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash
Some excerpts from the Pope’s letter follow: “As we contemplate the Christmas story, we are invited to set out on a spiritual journey, drawn by the humility of the God who became man in order to encounter every man and woman.”(1)  “Why does the Christmas crèche arouse such wonder and move us so deeply? First, because it shows God’s tender love: the Creator of the universe lowered Himself to take up our littleness.”(3) “Jesus, “gentle and humble in heart” (Mt 11:29), was born in poverty and led a simple life in order to teach us to recognize what is essential and to act accordingly. The nativity scene clearly teaches that we cannot let ourselves be fooled by wealth and fleeting promises of happiness.
      … Read More at Andrew's Blog
From Gospel to Life

From: Taking Back Black Friday for the Gospel by 

"...The Church must show our society that true contentment is only found in God!
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain,
7  for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
8  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
9  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs."

I Timothy 6:6-11                         ..........READ MORE at Suko Family
Let us pray:

That we may hear the cry of our sister Earth because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her, let us pray. 

That we might recognize that the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all and make the changes of lifestyle, production and consumption in order to combat global warming, let us pray.

Photo: George Guimond     
Film of the Month: River Blue

Can Fashion Save the Planet?

In this multiple award-winning feature documentary Internationally renowned river advocate Mark Angelo, who has paddled more rivers than perhaps anyone on Earth, journeys through some of the world's most pristine waterways to some of its most polluted in an unprecedented global adventure. This quest originally set out to film the world’s great rivers in an effort to protect them, but in the process, uncovered the dark underside of the global fashion industry. (See trailer, full film is pay per view)
The clothes you buy: Where were they made? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. Simply look at the label. But then add: what colour are they? And then consider the process of dying that cropped top, that T-shirt, that milkmaid dress. And then get your children or your nephews and their friends to watch the film River Blue so they can learn all about “hydrocide” and toxins flushed into waterways and the environmental cost of fast fashion beyond tossing those puce pants on the waste pile.  READ MORE at CNCA
Laudato Si'

222. Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that “less is more”. A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and

prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfilment. Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack.
 Book Suggestion
of the month
What  do a medieval Italian Catholic and a twenty-first-century pope from Argentina have in common? The certainty that encountering Jesus can change your life and the world. Alan Schreck, author and professor, considers the times and messages of both St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis, and invites you to experience the same freedom and joy that they have found in Jesus.

St. Francis and Pope Francis brings together themes that are central to the mission of both these men:
  • Conversion - their stories are different but their message the same: turn to God
  • Prayer - union with Jesus is for everyone
  • Poverty - the imitation of Christ heals and restores
  • Church - faithfulness is the foundation for renewal
  • Mission - the same in every age: share the Gospel
  • Joy - the hallmark of Catholic life, and possible for us today

by Alan Schreck, PhD

Recommended, Margaret Ross, ofs, Editor

    The Rule &
General Constitutions


Rule 11:  Trusting in the Father, Christ chose for himself and his mother a poor and humble life, even though he valued created things attentively and lovingly. Let the Secular Franciscans seek a proper spirit of detachment from temporal goods by simplifying their own material needs. Let them be mindful that according to the gospel they are stewards of the goods received for the benefit of God's children.

Thus, in the spirit of “the Beatitudes”, and as pilgrims and strangers on their way to the home of the Father, they should strive to purify their hearts from every tendency and yearning for possession and power.
Consumerism - The Human Agenda vs Creation Care - God's Way
At the local level, parishes are slowly beginning to implement Laudato Si’ teachings into their own communities. At Our Lady of Fatima parish in Coquitlam, the EcoFatima group has implemented an impressive number of initiatives: including bringing recycling and compost services to the parish hall; introducing a “no-bottled-water” policy and stocking the hall with additional drinking glasses and water pitchers; celebrating the annual Rogation Day blessing of seeds; and promoting sustainable eating through a local Christian CSA program run by A Rocha Canada.

......Read more at B.C. Catholic.


Editor Margaret Ross, ofs, with a sign showing how she tries to #LiveLaudatoSi as a member and volunteer of A Rocha Canada.
Pope's Prayer for December
The Future of the Very Young
That every country takes the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.
Children are the first to suffer from wars, corruption, poverty, and environmental imbalances and disasters. This means that their rights, from the right to play or study to the right to be heard, should be especially protected. Every child who is marginalized, abused, abandoned, without schooling, or without medical care, is a cry that rises up to God.
December Reflection by Fr. Henry Shea
The Future of the Very Young

"By the mystery of the Incarnation, God became a little child. There are few religious scenes more moving and tender than the infant Jesus in the arms of his mother. The Lord of all, now weak and vulnerable, is enwrapped in the loving care of Mary."
17 Goals to Transform Our World
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030. 
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

This can make for an excellent program to use in fraternity or individually. It is full of important material and information that we should all be aware of and take action where we can. Follow the link above FVC
Christmas Day on Planet Earth

 We are voting this be our theme song for JPIC!

We don't usually repeat articles or posting but this song and video Christmas Day on Planet Earth is worth another listen. It began with Lennie Gallant Atlantic Canada songwriter when he offered to help the group Black Umfolosi while on and passing through Prince Edward Island. They were looking for a place to stay for a couple of days. Lennie said he’d fix them up and Bob suggested that perhaps they could sing a song with him. Lennie thought a Christmas song would be the way to go, and so wrote Christmas Day on Planet Earth with the singers in mind.         LEARN MORE ABOUT LENNIE GALLANT

to the world!
Other important dates on the JPIC calendar:
+ December 10 - Human Rights Day (UN)
+ December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe & National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
+ January 1 - World Day of Peace (Pope's Message)

+ January 15 - World Day of Migrants & Refugees
Recent Postings on 
Franciscan Voice Canada

Note the calls for Action in some of the postings below Other earlier Posts you may want to check:
Editors: Andrew Conradi, ofs, Laudato Si' Animator, Global Catholic Climate Movement; George Guimond, ofs, RFEC Dir of JPIC & Margaret Ross, ofs, Minister, St Agnes Fraternity, Coquitlam, BC & Laudato Si' Animator


Related Links

About OFS
About JPIC
Development & Peace
National Fraternity of Canada
Joy of the Gospel
Understanding JPIC - a Primer
The Franciscan Journey           - JPIC Supplements

“Faith makes us walk with Jesus on the torturous ways of this world, in the certainty that the force of His Spirit will subdue the forces of evil, subjecting them to the power of God’s love. Love is superior, love is more powerful because it is God: God is love." - Pope Francis 

Creation is the footprint of the Divine

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