Why Nurture JPIC-ED Values within Us?
From 27th February to 5th March 2023, our Generalate in Rome, hosted JPIC-ED Provincial Coordinators and Section Promotors. The aim of coming together, both in person and online, was to elaborate a JPIC-ED Strategic Action Plan for 2022-2028. Presenters enriched JPIC-ED provincial and section strategic action plans which were prepared prior to the session.
First, a JPIC-ED minister cannot offer what s/he does not have. Thus, processing JPIC-ED values within oneself helped each participant to understand his/her role as an agent peace and positive change in society.
Second, participants took time to look at the collaboration with the local Church. Issues related to charity and justice, human mobility, anti-human trafficking campaign, education, economy, international trade and poverty, environmental care, healing and reconciliation, etc., call for collaboration.
Third, the challenge of insecurity, mostly in Africa, was not ignored. That is why conflicts management and resolution captured the attention of the participants. Using a theoretical framework, participants took time to investigate and understand causes of conflicts, approaches in peacebuilding, the correlation between conflict prevention, management, resolution, and transformation, etc.
Fourth, participants investigated socio-economic dynamics of our time. A particular attention was drawn on the state of world’s economy, the problem of economic growth, the urgent need to change how the economy works, etc.
Finally, participants looked at the challenge of funding JPIC-ED apostolate.
Why cultivate JPIC-ED values within us? On processing JPIC-ED values within oneself, participants contemplated their inner-selves. Human frailty and tendency to inflict injustices on oneself, the other and the body of the Society stands possible for each and everyone. Aware of one’s struggles and vulnerability to injustice, it becomes an imperative to build a culture of encounter, dialogue, peace, justice, and care for our common home. This comes to corroborate what Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” In other words, ‘practice what you preach’.
The 29th General Chapter of our Society goes in the same line. It recommends the following: (1) a reflection on injustices within our Society and those that affect our collaborators (cf. Cap. Acts, §1, p. 27); (2) a renewed collaboration with the local Church and civil society actors in favor of peace and reconciliation (cf. Cap. Acts, §2, p. 27); (3) communal commitment in the care for our common home (cf. Cap. Acts, §6, p.28); and (4) where needed, to walk on the road of healing and renewal (cf. Cap. Acts, §7, p. 30).
With the current financial ups and downs caused by Covid-19 and Ukraine-Russia war, there is a need to imagine new ways of financing our JPIC-ED activities at the grassroots. To continue this noble aspect of our Charism, participants agreed to source funds from donors and other people of goodwill. Phases of planning, monitoring and evaluation should be well respected. Financial reports should exhibit transparence and accountability.
To conclude, JPIC-ED Coordinators sought to plan for a renewed JPIC-ED Ministry. ‘Walking the talk’ is necessary. JPIC-ED apostolate calls for collaboration with like-minded people and institutions, especially the local Church. It does not ignore the question of insecurity, mostly in Africa. It is aware of Covid-19 related financial challenges that need attention. Further, it seeks to follow the 29th General Chapter recommendations.