Forming New Agents of Positive Change

The Franciscan educational ministry has more than 70 years of experience in Costa Rica, training children and young people at Saint Francis College. This tireless work has shown the importance…

Forming New Agents of Positive Change

The Franciscan educational ministry has more than 70 years of experience in Costa Rica, training children and young people at Saint Francis College. This tireless work has shown the importance…

Forming New Agents of Positive Change

The Franciscan educational ministry has more than 70 years of experience in Costa Rica, training children and young people at Saint Francis College. This tireless work has shown the importance…

Forming New Agents of Positive Change

The Franciscan educational ministry has more than 70 years of experience in Costa Rica, training children and young people at Saint Francis College. This tireless work has shown the importance of balancing the academic, emotional, and spiritual areas to generate a transforming and multiplying effect in the families and communities…

A New Attitude: One Parish’s Response to “Laudato Si’”

A New Attitude: One Parish’s Response to “Laudato Si’”

by Linda Gorrell, OSF, St. Benedict’s Parishioner and Volunteer in Terre Haute, IN

As a secular Franciscan called to follow in the footsteps of Christ in the example of St. Francis of Assisi and as a member of the Franciscan Parish of St. Benedict in Terre Haute, Indiana, this “season of creation” is essential.

St. Benedict Parish has signed a commitment with the Catholic Climate Covenant to participate in caring for Mother Earth actively. Recently in our parish, we formed an umbrella we call JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity for Creation) and have four groups under this umbrella; Creation Care Team, Global Solidarity, Refugee and Immigration, and Racial Justice.

We also have many volunteers who feed our hungry Monday through Friday. On the fourth Saturday of the month, our Secular Franciscans and friends serve a hot breakfast and offer a sack of groceries to provide weekend assistance to those in need. Our soup kitchen recycles.

We have a community garden that helps supply food to our soup kitchen. We are currently working with all committees to transition from a plastic mentality to thinking about more “earth-friendly” products. We have made great strides in this area. Our Creation Care Team investigates the possibility of solar energy for our parish.

Becoming a Secular Franciscan has changed me and my attitude towards life. There are a few people in my family who think I’ve “lost it.” If they only understood that I’ve “found it.” And then, others in my family truly love who I’ve become, and as the matriarch of my family, I am responsible for being an example of a person doing my best to follow and live out the Gospel. I am especially reminded of my grandson, who took the name “Francis” as his confirmation name.

Looking at what is happening to Mother Earth and the devastation in so many places worldwide, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed. I hear the cry of the people! Life offers us so many opportunities to participate in caring for creation. I take a deep breath and pray for direction, asking God to help me follow the path he has planned for me. I pray. I rinse out cans to be recycled. Every small thing or large thing makes for a better Mother Earth. Everything we choose to do to help Mother Earth comes at a price. The price we pay might be “time” or “monetary,” but so be it! What a small price to pay as we reflect at the foot of the cross of Jesus.

Forming New Agents of Positive Change

The Franciscan educational ministry has more than 70 years of experience in Costa Rica, training children and young people at Saint Francis College. This tireless work has shown the importance of balancing the academic, emotional, and spiritual areas to generate a transforming and multiplying effect in the families and communities in which the students of the Institution have become agents of positive change.

Several generations of young Costa Ricans have developed in an atmosphere of harmony inspired by Franciscan values, becoming integral people who seek the common good, as well as a more just and supportive society. This is not just for the few; the backbone of pastoral care is the value of solidarity. Education is not a privilege, and therefore Saint Francis College has a scholarship program that gives young people the opportunity to develop their talents, skills, and leadership.
Latin America is a complex region with significant social gaps, but with a great treasure, its people. Millions of hidden talents must be transformed into positive instruments of change, not only in their lives but also in their families, communities, countries, and regions.

The 21st century poses challenges that human beings have not wanted to face before, such as the environmental impact of their actions. It is time to rethink our way of life and recognize our responsibility as human beings. Here is where the importance of the message of Saint Francis of Assisi increases and how we must instill these values in the children of the world to generate positive impacts, both in people and in nature; Costa Rica has the conditions to promote this vision and leadership. We must train these new agents of change.

The pandemic demonstrates human vulnerability and the imperative need to change one’s lifestyle to be genuinely respectful of the environment. This challenge forces the new generations to propose creative solutions to complex problems, and the educational ministry is committed to strengthening their skills to transform the future.

Ecosystems are self-replicating, self-propagating, and self-maintaining. By ministering to our children they can learn the importance of caring for our common home and pass that along to others throughout their lives.

Saint Francis College was created 70 years ago in the capital of the country: San José. Now is the time to increase our outreach to more families. Fortunately, the Order has a property in the second most populous city in the country: Alajuela. Here is where Saint Francis College has established its new campus.
Its strategic location allows it to serve families in downtown Alajuela, as well as nearby communities. There is a need for greater academic offerings in this area, which has experienced significant industrial, commercial, urban, and residential growth in recent years.

With faith, commitment, and dedication, this new undertaking has started to enable a space of peace and spirituality in Alajuela. Children will grow up within the Franciscan philosophy, and the ties of the Order of Conventual Friars Minor community will be strengthened.

Simple Is Good

No silver spoon, but I was born to advantage as one of twelve brothers and sisters of a farm family.…

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developer NASA

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developer NASA

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developer NASA

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developer NASA

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