Common Good


Secular Franciscan JPIC Monthly Newsletter
for Franciscan Voice Canada


Issue No 34,  April 2020
Thank you for being a subscriber to the Common Good newsletter. We work hard to select newsworthy issues that most relate to Secular Franciscans and JPIC. Recognizing that the newsletter has more content than can be read in a typical setting, we encourage you to save the newsletter on your device and take the time over the month to read articles that interest you most; just like you would with a magazine. The more we learn about the many issues we are faced within our world the better prepared we can be to influence change needed to "care for our common home". - a message from the editors

Capitalism and the Pandemic
What lessons can we learn from the pandemic?
by Andrew Conradi, ofs (OFS JPIC and GCCM Laudato Si’Animator)
As we face the Covid-19 pandemic, I pray for health and resilience (love, courage & hope) for our entire human family in this time of great uncertainty. My thoughts are with all but especially the newly unemployed in Canada, especially Alberta the hardest hit, & also communities in the Global South whose prior hardships are worsened by this crisis in contrast to which ours pale in comparison.                                  

Let us reflect during Holy Week. Happy Easter!
An opportunity to transform the way we live?
A reminder that Solidarity is key to addressing both the climate crisis
and the pandemic?
    What does the Holy Father (27 March) say about the lessons to be learned?
“We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.”
"Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things and be lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet."
                                                                                   Read more at Andrew's Blog
Solidarity Sunday

Let us remember in our prayers and donations, the people of the Global South in this time of COVID 19, realizing that however difficult our situation is, it pales in comparison with that of the more vulnerable people of the world. The Solidarity Sunday (including Share Lent) collections, typically held on the 5th Sunday of Lent, was missed in some Canadian parishes this year. Thus, Development & Peace /Caritas Canada’s overseas partners may be adversely affected if collections are low – even as the needs will escalate, e.g. in Amazonia 30 March it was 537 cases and 10 deaths i.e. still low but growing exponentially.
Donate directly here:

The pandemic is playing havoc with the economy
                                                                                                                                          Image: KenueoneCC0 1.0 - Wind turbines and solar panels in Asia. For policymakers responding to the current crisis, the goal should be to support citizens’ livelihoods by investing in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

As David Suzuki puts it: “Can we relearn what humanity has known since our very beginnings, that we live in a complex web of relationships in which our very survival and well-being depend upon clean air, water and soil, sunlight (photosynthesis) and the diversity of species of plants and animals that we share this planet with? In this disaster lies an opportunity to reflect and change direction in the hope that if we do, nature will be far more generous than we deserve. We should be asking what an economy is for [and for whom?], whether there are limits, how much is enough …”  and does stuff actually make us happy?               Read more at Andrew's Blog
Who benefits and who pays?

...The Globe and Mail reported on March 19 that the Government of Canada is preparing a $15-billion “bailout package” for oil and gas companies similar to what Canada did for the auto industry in 2008...
...Certainly, jobs can be created by government subsidies to companies that create jobs but when things go bad we need to ensure that the bailouts help the workers and not just the top executives and shareholders. Ottawa’s role should be focused on helping unemployed oil and gas workers and retraining...
Sign the petition here: BAIL-OUT WORKERS NOT BIG OIL
Read more at Andrew's Blog

From Gospel to Life
"For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.."   
Rev 3.17(NRSV)

Climb your Mt. La Verna during COVID 19

​​In 1224, St. Francis of Assisi withdrew to Mt. La Verna with his companion Brother Leo for a 40-day fast and to contemplate on Christ’s Passion. He prayed fervently to share in Christ’s suffering. His prayers were answered and he came to know Christ so intimately that he shared the marks of the crucifixion (the stigmata). 

As we live through these days of self-isolation and physical distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic, we can climb our own metaphorical Mt. La Verna.

What better time than now, during this Holy Week, to contemplate on Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.

We too can pray to share in Christ’s suffering – to come to know Him so deeply that we begin to understand God’s great love for us....

                                                 Read her April Blog
Image by Michael O'Brien

   The Rule and GC

GC Art 23.1
Peace is the work of justice and the fruit of reconciliation and of fraternal love. Secular Franciscans are called to be bearers of peace in their families and in society:

  • they should see to the proposal and spreading of peaceful ideas and attitudes;
  • they should develop their own initiatives and should collaborate, individually and  as a fraternity, with initiatives of the Pope, the local Churches, and the Franciscan Family;
  • they should collaborate with those movements and institutions which promote peace while respecting its authentic foundations.

 A Cry for First Nations and their losses

From THE EAST COAST MUSIC HOUR'S last public presentation on March 10th: The SURRENDER edition of the Story and the Song.

Tara MacLean in a stunning performance of her song Beneath the Path of Crows, featuring SHiFT FROM THA 902.
The image below is from the Legacy of Hope Foundation
Written by Tara MacLean/ Daniel Howlett/Dennis Ellsworth/Hubert Francis/Gilbert Alex Sark/ Senator Brian Francis and special guest Todd Googoo.
Click on the image above to view the video.

National JPIC Communiqué JPIC

April Issue


Third World conditions in a
First-world Country

Download the April Communiqué recently as 2015, there were 105 public drinking water advisories in First Nations communities, according to Indigenous Services Canada’s website. It is shocking to find that the drinking water advisories (conditions common in third-world countries) still exist in Canada, a first-world country.
What Do We Learn From This Place Where We Don't Want To Be?
...This crisis should also provoke a long-overdue conversation about how radical individualism and unfettered capitalism are literally killing us... 

...If we can use this crisis as an opportunity to make personal and societal changes, when the darkest days are behind us, we can have at least some hope that the future won't be defined by the mistakes of our past.

To read the entire article published...  by National Catholic Reporter please click here

                                                 From the Felician Sisters
Holding on to a vision of a just, peaceful and sustainable Earth will give us strength
for the future

Earth Day 2020 will be remembered as a time when humanity was reeling from a pandemic. But we pray that this year will also be remembered as a time when we all were suddenly forced to stop what we were doing, pay attention to one another and take action.

On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, as fear and illness sweep the globe, we listen for voices that speak of wisdom, generosity, courage and hope. And as always, we find solace in the natural world. In the suddenly quiet streets and skies, we can hear birds sing.

From Earth Day by 
Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and Leah D. Schade

Read about the -
6 lessons coronavirus cans teach us about climate change -    Click here

Laudato Si'

14. … Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. 
This applies just as much to the pandemic today and in future, as it does to the climate emergency - FVC
Laudato Si' Week 16-24 May 2020
A message from Global Catholic Climate Movement

Slowing down in the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halt. In response, many of us have been forced to slow down and live more simply.

Amidst the suffering in our changing world, we have come together and shown that God’s love is everywhere.

Families have reconnected. In some regions, scientists report a reduction in pollution and improvement in air quality. We’ve helped our brothers and sisters in new and inspiring ways.

Your community offers hope to the world. Respond to the call of Pope Francis. Choose the Laudato Si’ Week action that’s best for you. We’ll be in touch with next steps.

Laudato Si’ Week takes place 16-24 May. Your community is warmly encouraged to start planning now to complete your action in May.  
                                                            -   CHOOSE AN ACTION

You are all in our thoughts and prayers

Sing along "Humility and Poverty
It is followed by prayer intentions and words below.
Wishing you peace and all that is good  - Doug and Marion from PEI
Click on photo to play the video   (Words below)
 Book Suggestion
of the month

Day by Day with St. Francis – 2016

This Spiritual Life Series title offers minute meditations for each day of the year. Each daily entry provides a quote on the life and legacy of St. Francis from the writings of either the Saint himself or one of his early brothers or from the Papal Bull Mira Circa Nos of Pope Gregory IX, which proclaimed the canonization of St. Francis; a reflection; and a scriptural prayer.
Pope's Prayer    

The Holy Father Pope Francis in a special prayer for this time with a pandemic, places emphasis on the sick and those who are suffering most, he asked that we all pray the prayer “Under Your Protection” to the Virgin Mary, imploring her protection:

“We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test –
and deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.”

Pope Francis releases special video to pray for an end to the pandemic

Click on the photo to see the video
 "Hope is the key to enduring any hardship"         Photo: Frank Mckenna | Unsplash CC     
A beautiful poem written by Fr. Richard Hendrick OFM Cap in Ireland called "Lockdown", March 13, 2020. Fr. Michael Perras OFM had posted it on their Franciscans of Canada site. Also see Fr. Michael's article "Lent 5: Turn up the radio"
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Important dates on the JPIC calendar:

+ April 10, Good Friday - Way of the Cross
+ April 12 - Easter - Meditations for Easter Time
+ May - Fair Trade Month
+ May 16-24 
Laudato Si’ week
Other Recent Postings on 
Franciscan Voice Canada

Note the calls for Action in some of the postings below        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

“Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.
    - 187. The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis 


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