Renewing our Capuchin Franciscan commitment to the values of JPIC: training workshop for NAPCC, Michigan
For the first time in many years, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) international commission in collaboration with the North American Pecific Capuchin Conference (NAPCC) held a workshop training for friars engaged in JPIC ministry and social works in North America and Australia
The theme of the workshop was ” Renewing our Capuchin Franciscan commitment to the values of JPIC” and was meant to train and form friars of the NAPCC into being JPIC animators in their various provinces. The training held at the Capuchin retreat center in Washington, Michigan, USA, brought together fourteen frairs from seven provinces including from New York- New England, New Jersey, Denver, Pittsburg, Detroit, Toronto, Quebec and Australia. In three days, the participants were trained on the theory and practice of JPIC and empowered to becoming JPIC animators in their various provinces. Brs. Benedict Ayodi and John Celichowski OFM Cap introduced the participants to the basis of our commitment to JPIC including the social teachings of the church, scriptures and constitutions. With the expertise and experience of Br. Joe Rozansky OFM, Br. Michael Lasky OFM Conv and Marcia Lee the friars explored the spirituality, values, functions and application of JPIC in our daily lives and in the society at large.
The most interesting part of the workshop was when each participant presented their work in the area of JPIC. It was amazing to learn how much work is being done in the various provinces of NAPCC. Some provinces run soup kitchens, homes for street families and the homeless, elder care and prison ministry. Others give direct support to the poor, undocumented, migrants and refugees. The St. Joseph Province (Detroit) province has Cap Corps project for volunteers to support social projects. Some provinces collaborate with the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) and the Franciscans International (FI) to do advocacy on human rights both at the National level and the international level. Patrick Carolan the executive director of FAN spoke via skype on the importance of networking and collaboration among the Franciscan families for social transformation.
At the end of the workshop, the participants took time to visit the Capuchin Soup Kitchen project in Detroit. As one of the biggest soup kitchen in the region, it serves over 2500 hot meals per day and provides many other serves to the needy in Detroit.
The participants experienced firsthand the ministry of JPIC in action. The friars got a tour of the entire project and its various services including the bread bakery, the bicycle repair, the soup kitchen, and the Garden of Unity. All these projects are meant to support the poor and the marginalized for charity and social transformation, thus putting our Capuchin Franciscan values of JPIC in practice.