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Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission

Global Plan of the General Council 2019-2025

Conrad Mutizamhepo, O.Carm.

The breastplate of justice is to be put on, that you may love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and your neighbour as yourselves (Rule, 19).
An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or com­pletely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its strategies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters… All Christians, their pastors included, are called to show concern for the building of a better world (Evangelii Gaudium, 183).
We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other… Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centredness and self-absorption, are essen­tial if we truly wish to care for other brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.
Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and con­templative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption. We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that “less is more” (Laudato Si, 208, 222).

 African Carmelites from Zimbabwe, Mozambique at an international meeting in Fatima, Portugal.Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation is the integra­tion of prayer, reflection and action inspired by God’s own commitment to human wellbeing. Its thrust is to guide our prayer and theological reflection into transformative action. Our prayer and theology must enlighten us about cultivating and maintaining a proper relationship with my neighbour, for whose care and custody I am responsible, a constructive relationship with my own self, with others, with God and with the earth (Cfr. LS, 70).

It is therefore the aims of Carmelite General Commis­sion for JPIC to promote greater awareness, clearer analy­sis and more effective action in matters of justice, peace and integrity of creation. The values that will energize the Commission for JPIC are prayer, sharing, service, partici­pation, communication and collaboration. The words of Pope Francis in his address to 2019 Chapter participants encourage us that “the true prophet in the Church is he and she who comes from the desert, like Elijah, rich in the Holy Spirit, and with the authority that belongs to those who have listened in silence to the subtle voice of God” (cf. 1 Kgs 19:12) and that “the contemplative has a compas­sionate heart”.

During this sexennium the Carmelite Commission for JPIC will seek to invite the whole Carmelite Family – friars, nuns, sisters of affiliated congregations and laity – to pray, reflect, share and implement the guide, From Contempla­tion to Action: Handbook for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in the Carmelite Tradition (2019) compiled by the Carmelite Order General Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (2013-2019). We will continue to work with the international community through the Car­melite NGO at the United Nations and seek to link in with the other NGOs within the Carmelite Family.

Plans

  1. To promote the personal and communal encounter and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ of Carmelites through reflection and meditation on the Scriptures by participating in Lectio Divina;
  2. To promote the formation, development and animation of Carmelite JPIC structures;
  3. To encourage dialogue, discussions, reflections during days of study of Social Teaching of the Church;
  4. To raise awareness of and implement known practical steps to reduce our carbon footprint through adopting the Church’s teaching to address Climate Change
  5. To collaborate with the Carmelite NGOs in promoting Sustainable Development Goals in Carmelite ministries around the world especially in the areas of education, religious freedom and human rights;
  6. To raise awareness and move towards divesting from fossil fuels;
  7. To advocate for the appointment of JPIC contact per­sons in Provinces, Commissariats and Delegations of the Order in order to facilitate communication, cooper­ation in the regions and with the General Commission of JPIC;
  8. To encourage Carmelite Provincials (Commissaries and Delegates) to send young Carmelites for academic and spiritual formation/training for conscientious involve­ment in JPIC ministry;
  9. To encourage all members of the Carmelite Family – friars, nuns, active sisters and laity – to initiate, culti­vate and promote JPIC activities in their communities, parishes, schools as well as participate in Justice and Peace programmes of Episcopal Conferences and Dioc­esan structures;
  10. To plan programmes to promote, disseminate and im­plement the insights contained in From Contemplation to Action: Handbook for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in the Carmelite Tradition;
  11. To plan for an international Carmelite Family JPIC Conference to share experiences on working in JPIC ministries as well as explore ways of implementing the document, From Contemplation to Action.

Members

  • Conrad Mutizamhepo, O.Carm.
  • Franciscus Xaverius Hariawan Adji, O.Carm. (Indonesia)
  • Aureliano Pacciolla, O.Carm (Italian, Neapolitan)
  • José Luis Gutierrez Berrendero (Betica, Spain)
  • Eduardo Andrés Agosta Scarel, O.Carm. (ACV, Spain)
  • Christian Buenafe, O.Carm. (Philippines)

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