Franciscan Spirituality at the United Nations
Theory met practice when the ‘Souffle d’Assise’ invited FI to lead two workshops about its work for justice which is inspired by Franciscan values. The participants had been studying spiritual theory at the Franciscan centre and FI was able to provide concrete examples of how Franciscans are working together to help bring about positive change.
The FI team addressed a group of 16 Franciscans, from French speaking countries including Madagascar, Korea, India and france, attending a three-month course on Franciscan Spirituality at the centre in St. Maurice, Switzerland. On 10 November they visited the FI-Geneva office and the UN to learn more about FI working with grassroots Franciscans at the international level and their recent achievements for better justice.
During the presentation one Sister said she realised the importance of not only working to help the poor at the grassroots level but to engage with the Franciscan Family at the international level. Franciscan solidarity is very important agreed another Brother. FI’s focus to address issues concerning peace, poverty and the planet match the framework of Franciscan Spirituality, reflected Fr. Pascal Aude OFM Cap. Hearing about FI’s work brings practical examples to the theory that we have been discussing during the ‘Trimestre Franciscain’.
On 25 October Sr. Odile Coirier fmm, FI Environmental Advocacy Officer, presented a one-day workshop at the Souffle D’Assise on ‘Franciscans International with a focus on the UPR and the environment’. She shared how FI is taking a lead role with the Franciscan Family to participate in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil, in June 2012, and that a key focus is to ensure spiritual principals are upheld. She asked the small group to discuss the critical environmental issues that they see locally and globally, what they are doing to address them, and what more can be done.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Prayer of Peace at the end of October, FI joined people from all religions at the Centre for a “Concert of Religions”.http://www.franciscansinternational.org/News.111.0.html?&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=75&cHash=95634b5afee525399d5e9895c56cbeb2