Anne Corry, RSCJ, from the Australia/New Zealand Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart, is the international Society’s coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) activities. She recently updated members of the Society on her work over the past several months. Here are some of the highlights of her report:
Like everyone else, I am intrigued by Pope Francis. His words and actions have even led some to describe him as a JPIC Pope. In Evangelii gaudium, his references to justice, peace and protection of “our fragile earth” (216) are deeply compelling. A line from the Pope’s beautiful document gives me an image from which to write to you about our new international JPIC service. “In the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit.” (276) Pope Francis’ message is about transformation. JPIC is also about transformation.
We have such a rich tradition of JPIC in the history of the Society (long before the term JPIC was ever used). It is central to our mission to continue our engagement with justice, peace and integrity of creation through our spirituality and ministries.
One of the first important things I did was to call for a small group of RSCJ to form an advisory group. The aim of this group is to develop a plan of action for the first stage of this service. The advisory group consists of Daphne Sequeira, RSCJ (Indonesia), Solome Najjuka , RSCJ (Uganda - Kenya), Rosario Sanchez, RSCJ (Peru) and Joy Luz, RSCJ (Philippines). They are already helping with input about the focus of the action plan for JPIC at the international level; we hope to have this plan ready to implement by April. One thing is very clear in this planning process: JPIC at the international level aims to support, network and communicate about our activity in this area throughout the world. This is more about relationships than structure.
Other RSCJ have generously agreed to evaluate the progress of this early planning on an ad hoc basis. They will help to provide a cultural perspective from all regions as well as their own expertise.
I have been attending the Inter-Congregational JPIC group in Rome, learning a lot about human trafficking, Integrity of Creation (with a focus on mining), and the challenges facing migrants and refugees. I have also attended the assemblies for Solidarity with South Sudan and the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network.
“However, dark things are … each day in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed…” (Pope Francis, EG 276)