Common Good


Secular Franciscan JPIC Monthly Newsletter
for Franciscan Voice Canada


Issue No 29,  November 2019
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The Amazon Synod
“May the God of life and beauty, the Holy Spirit who 
drives us towards more fraternity, unity and dignity, and the 
Incarnate Christ of the Good News, and of inculturation and 
interculturality give us serenity, discernment 
and courage to find new paths for the 
Church and for an integral ecology in this Amazon Synod.
All of this for the good and life of their people and 
communities, and to walk together in the Kingdom.”

[Red Eclesial Pan-Amazónica, (Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network)
via Global Catholic Climate Movement]
The Synod for the Amazon and
Development and Peace
Click the photo to see the video

This video brings together testimonies from people and partners of Development and Peace - Caritas Canada who helped prepare the Synod, from its announcement with the visit of Pope Francis to Puerto Maldonado in Peru (January 2018), to the various consultations with Indigenous peoples in the Amazon, to the Synod itself in Rome in October 2019. Development and Peace's 'For Our Common Home' campaign focuses on the Amazon and the key role that Indigenous and traditional peoples play in protecting the Amazon biome, so rich in life and biodiversity and vital to the balance of the Earth.

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada’s partners in the Amazon organized consultations with 87,000 Indigenous peoples as part of the preparations for the synod. This unprecedented consultation ensured that the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor was heard by those in attendance. 

                                        READ MORE and TAKE ACTION ...

Amazon Synod: Simplicity and Inculturation

Portions of this newsletter are written by our editor, Andrew Conradi, ofs, Laudato Si' Animator, Global Catholic Climate Movement. They are drawn from his Blog to which you can go for his full text for this month.

The following quotation is the basis of what the Synod was about.
“17. The listening to the clamor of the earth and the cry of the poor and of the peoples of Amazonia with those that walk with us, calls us to a true integral conversion, with a simple and sober life, all nourished by a mystical spirituality in the style of Saint Francis of Assisi, example of integral conversion with joy and Christian enjoyment (Cf. LS 20-120). A prayerful reading of the Word of God will help us to reflect further and discover the groans of the Spirit and will encourage us in the commitment to look after the “common home.” ” (emphasis added) (Zenit Translation of the Final Document by Virginia M. Forrester, 6 November 2019).
Inculturation: The acquisition of the characteristics and norms of a culture by another culture, and, in the context of this article, the adaptation of the way Church teachings are presented to other, non-Christian, cultures and, in turn, the influence of those cultures on the evolution of these teachings. Historical examples would be the influence of Greek pagan philosophers (e.g. Plato & Aristotle) on Catholic doctrine; and the timing of Christmas to coincide with the winter solstice (Yule) or celebration of the pagan Roman Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) i.e. Christianity appropriated pagan ideas by adopting new meaning or adapting meaning or events to coincide and harmonise with Christian beliefs.                   ...READ MORE
Living the Change at the Synod

GCCM wrote, "It’s one thing for clergy or lay people to attend a key Church meeting in an official capacity. It’s quite another to do what 40 bishops and lay leaders did after the Amazon synod: promise to personally live more sustainably and in greater solidarity with the people they serve.

Bishops and lay leaders signed the pact to do so during an Oct. 20 Mass at the Catacombs of Domatilla in Rome. In part, they promised that, “Before the avalanche of consumerism” … they will pursue a “happily sober lifestyle, simple and in solidarity with those who have little or nothing.”" Global Catholic Climate Movement.

                 Read more about the Pact of the Catacombs in Andrew's next blog 
                                                 available on November 20.
Finally, what could the Universal Church learn from the Amazon Synod?
Pope Francis meets with a group of about forty natives, including participants in the Amazon Synod, on Oct. 17, 2019. (RNS/Photo by Vatican Media)
This is a very interesting article, What the US bishops can learn from the Amazon synod,
by Thomas Reese, SJ (4 Nov 2019); although written for the US Bishops it could apply more widely. Here's a quote:

"The Amazon bishops come from large but poor dioceses with few priests and lots of people. Being a bishop in the Amazon is not an especially high-status job in the church.

Many of these bishops don’t bother wearing clerical garb and tend to get their shoes muddy visiting their people. They also are attacked for prophetically defending the rainforest and their preferential option for the poor. They are firmly on the side of Pope Francis."   READ MORE...

From Gospel to Life

“God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good” (Gen 1:31).

“For you love all things that exist and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it” 
(Wis 11:24).

Let us pray:

"May our Creator God
give us serenity, discernment and courage
to hear the cry of the earth and
cry of the poor to accept the kinship of creation and
to cherish, nurture, protect & sustain
God’s gift of Our Sister Mother Earth
and work for the common good.”

by Andrew Conradi, ofs 

Our Lady of Guadalupe, 2002, A. Conradi ofs
Film of the Month: The Circle of Poison
When the U.S. bans a chemical, deeming it too harmful to the healths of its citizens, companies are still allowed to produce it for export only. 'Circle of Poison' exposes this disturbing federal policy that sends a message to the world that American lives are more valuable, taking a global look at communities impacted by the export of toxic pesticides and how they are fighting back.
See the full film on Youtube (pay per view)

Laudato Si'

1. “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

   Book Suggestion
of the month

The Saint and the Sultan
by Paul Moses
For many of us, St. Francis of Assisi is known as a poor monk and a lover of animals. However, these images are sadly incomplete, because they ignore an equally important and more challenging aspect of his life -- his unwavering commitment to seeking peace. In The Saint and the Sultan, Paul Moses recovers Francis' message of peace through the largely forgotten story of his daring mission to end the crusades.

In 1219, as the Fifth Crusade was being fought, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with Malik al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt. The two talked of war and peace and faith and when Francis returned home, he proposed that his Order of the Friars Minor live peaceably among the followers of Islam – a revolutionary call at a moment when Christendom pinned its hopes for converting Muslims on the battlefield.

The Saint and the Sultan brings to life an episode of deep relevance for all who seek to find peace between the West and the Islamic world.

At the recent 2019 Canadian National Spiritual Conference, the theme was, “The 800th Anniversary of the Encounter between Saint Francis and the Sultan”. The speaker, Michael Cusato ofm, a Franciscan historian from the St. Bonaventure University, spoke highly of this book. We found a deeper understanding of St. Francis after reading it.  Recommended. Also expect some of the proceedings from the National conference to be posted in the near future - FVC

    The Rule &
General Constitutions

Rule 14: Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively. Mindful that anyone “who follows Christ, the perfect man, becomes more of a man himself,” let them exercise their responsibilities competently in Christian spirit of service.

GC 19.2: In the spirit of minority, they should opt for relationships which give preference to the poor and to those on the fringe of society, whether these be individuals or categories of persons or an entire people; they should collaborate in overcoming the exclusion of others and those forms of poverty that are the fruit of inefficiency and injustice. 
Pope's Prayer Intention for November
Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Near East
That a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Near East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together.
Reflection - as we recall Remembrance day and the Pope's prayer intention...
Far too many wars, political divisions, conflicts and hostilities between the diverse religious communities within the Near East have left populations scared and crippled in moral, financial and spiritual ways. This race to dominate has led to vicious murders that have little regard or respect for one’s neighbor.     READ MORE
As I Have Done is a new documentary series
     produced by Salt + Light Media, a 3 part documentary
These stories bring you to East Africa to meet sisters at the forefront of sustainable development. See how these women from different countries and congregations contribute to this endeavour by serving justice, peace, equality, and sustainability.
Click above to see the trailer.
Go the Salt + Light Media for the series schedule that is coming soon.
Third World Day of the Poor
November 17 is the Third World Day of the Poor 

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops are speaking out about poverty in our own country. Through the Commission for Justice and Peace, it has is released a statement entitled Poverty in Canada: Ensuring Safe, Secure and Affordable Housing in anticipation of the Third World Day of the Poor.
Poverty is a serious issue not only in developing countries, but also in Canada. The statement presents a brief overview of poverty in Canada today, with a focus on the current housing crisis, and provides a short list of some key Catholic organizations engaged in the alleviation of poverty in our country. Through this statement, the Catholic Bishops of Canada call for collaboration between charitable organizations, all levels of government, and dioceses/eparchies, as well as local parishes, to support individuals who are in need. Download Booklet pdf. This would make an excellent topic for fraternity on-going formation.

Download the Pope's letter for the Third World Day of the Poor, "The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever". 
Other important dates on the JPIC calendar:
+ November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
+ November 2940th anniversary of St. Francis’ being declared the patron saint of ecology. Celebrate St. Francis’ anniversary by taking one of these actions. Join the next global climate strike.  
+ December 5World Soil Day
+ December 10 - Human Rights Day (UN)
+ December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe & National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Chalice a top Charity
Chalice tied for the #2 spot in the MacLean's 2020 Best Charity list. Chalice scored a 97.5 % out of 100 % rating overall. See the list here. Go to Chalice.
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

May God, the lover of life, grant us the courage to do good without waiting for someone else to begin, or until it is too late.." - Pope Francis 

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