Third continental meeting of JPIC
The Third Continental Meeting of JPIC of the Americas met in Quito, Ecuador, at Bethany House of the Ecuadoran Episcopal Conference, from 1 to 4 November 2011. Seventy-nine friars, Sisters and Secular Franciscans, and representatives of other institutions of the Franciscan family, such as Franciscans International, were welcomed by the Province of St. Francis of Assisi of Quito. This meeting was convoked by the Executive Council of UCLAF and the Office of JPIC in Rome.
The meeting was guided and accompanied by religious who have inserted themselves among the peoples of Amazonia and by experts in environmental justice, global warming and theology. Those gathered participated in a series of conferences which awakened the Franciscan conscience regarding the themes of justice, peace and the integrity of creation, offering a spiritual orientation according to the Franciscan charism, the General Constitutions and other documents of the Order of Friars Minor.
Objectives of the meeting:
- Deepen our reflection on the theme of Environmental Justice.
- Raise awareness of the importance of the Amazon in the context of the current ecological crisis.
- Take up the new challenges offered by the Amazon for our evangelizing mission.
- Add our JPIC contribution to the Amazon project.
- Form and animate those responsible for JPIC in the values and actiities of thsi service.
Under the motto, “Praised be my Lord for Sister Mother Earth with all her creatures,” the theme was Environmental Justice and the Challenges of Amazonia. The meeting developed in two phases. During the first various religious of different charisms related their experiences of insertion in Amazonia, followed by a series of conferences that were scientific and theological in nature. During the second, working in small groups and plenary sessions, participants reviewed the guidelines of the Order, shared experiences from their respective entities and agreed on actions and commitments for their entities and for the Amazon Project.
The meeting concluded with a Eucharistic celebration at which Br. Nestor Schwerz, General Definitor for Latin America, presided. Participants committed themselves to continue to face the challenges of Amazonia.