An important part of advocacy for social justice is attending and planning actions. These visible events help our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and around the country clearly see what issues are important to everyday people and the great numbers of us with Franciscan values.

Being a Franciscan presence in the public arena is part of our mission and the staff of FAN regularly participates in many kinds of advocacy actions. We also want to hear about and uplift what you’ve been doing in your community. Click here to let us know what actions you have participated in.

Here is what we’ve attended so far this year:

July 2024

July 17: John Lewis National Day of Commemoration and Action

FAN staff joined the Washington Interfaith Staff Community’s (WISC) Faithful Democracy group to remember the anniversary of John Lewis’ passing. FAN’s Associate of Campaigns Gabriela Martinez and summer intern Violet Apodaca joined participants in remembering his commitment to preserving Democracy and voting rights by advocating for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which is yet to be passed.

June 2024

June 6: Human Trafficking Lobby Day

The Alliance to end Human Trafficking and the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd organized a lobby day during which participants advocated for an attainable bi-partisan solution to reduce human trafficking by addressing the root causes of forced migration, protecting unaccompanied children, and speeding asylum seekers access to work.
Sr. Maria Orlandini, FAN’s Director of Advocacy (pictured, second from left), joined a group that visited the offices of Maryland congressmen Raskin and Ivey as well as the two Senators Cardin and Van Hollen.

June 29: Poor People's Campaign Moral March

FAN joined thousands of clergy, union members and activists at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday June 29 to rally on behalf of the poor, urging low-wealth Americans to make their voices heard in November. FAN Associate of Campaigns, Gabriela Martinez spoke about the “disease of injustice” calling for lawmakers to embrace policies intended to correct these injustices.

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Religion News Service Article

May 2024

May 3: Prayer Service at White House for Ceasefire in Israel-Palestine

FAN staff joined the organizations and peacemakers that comprise Christians for Ceasefire in a Ecumenical Christian Prayer Vigil in front of the White House on Friday, May 3.

May 3 was the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ landmark pastoral letter, “The Challenge of Peace,” which focused on the responsibility of the Christian Church to promote peace and nonviolence.

The service began with words from Bishop John Stowe, Conv OFM, bishop of Lexington, KY and bishop president of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement.

Watch the live stream here.

Photos from FAN
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NCR Article

April 2024

April 18: Interfaith Earth Day Event

FAN Associate of Campaigns, Gabriela Martinez joined a gathering of the Washington Interfaith Staff Community to celebrate Earth Day at the Capitol Visitor Center. Speakers were from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, as well as faith-liaison staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Topics of conversation ranged from the different faiths working together and dedicated to preserving and caring for our Sister Earth for millennia to come, as well as how the US is working with faith communities to mitigate the climate crisis as it impacts the world today.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Gould

April 22: Earth Day Poor People's Campaign Rally

FAN staff and board member Fr Paul Lininger participated in an April 22 rally at the US Supreme Court that brought out more than 500 people in solidarity with neighbors experiencing homelessness.

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March 2024

March 6: Christians for Ceasefire

On March 6th, FAN staff joined the ‘Christians 4 Ceasefire’ along with Jewish and Muslim leaders to witness the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and to call for a ceasefire ahead of the Israeli invasion of Rafah deadline of March 10. Approximately 20 prayerful and nonviolent people, including FAN’s peace fellow, Dr. Eli McCarthy, participated in a course of civil disobedience by tying banners to the White House fence, handcuffing themselves to fences, and blocking intersections. No arrests were made.

Watch the live stream here

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March 21: Christians for Ceasefire Pray-in

As part of their Lenten Ceasefire Campaign, Christians for Ceasefire held a prayer vigil on Thursday afternoon with national faith leaders and approximately 75 in attendance on Capitol Hill followed by a nonviolent action in the Russell Senate Office Building. Faith leaders had powerful words calling for prayers for a permanent ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and proper respect for everyone. Attendees heard heartbreaking statistics of the continued violation of humanity in Gaza, and a lamentation was read throughout the prayer vigil. After the planned remarks in front of the Methodist Building, the group made its way to the Russell Senate Office Building to carry out a nonviolent witness. After standing in the formation of a cross in the center of the building’s rotunda while singing out phrases such as “Food not war,” “Children are dying in Gaza,” and “No more bombing hospitals,” 12 people were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police for nonviolent civil disobedience.

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February 2024

Feb. 14: Christians for Ceasefire Mass and Prayer Service

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House as the launch of a Lenten Ceasefire Campaign. The purpose of the event was to call attention to and in mourning for the tens of thousands of lives that have been destroyed in Gaza and Israel since October 7, 2023. About 150 people joined the witness and a smaller group of 14 people risked nonviolent arrest. FAN cosponsored the event and executive director Michele Dunne offered the intercessory prayers during the Catholic Mass.

Read the press release here and news articles from:

Religion News

Independent Catholic News

Catholic News Herald

Watch the video here

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Feb. 21: Peace Pilgrimage Rally

FAN staff and local members participated in a February 21 rally in front of the White House with participants in the Pilgrimage for Peace, a group that walked from Philadelphia to Washington DC. FAN friend Joyce Dodson from Pennsylvania was part of the group, who called on President Biden to work for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, release of Israeli hostages, and increased humanitarian aid. The rally was the second event in the Christians for Ceasefire Lenten Campaign.

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January 2024

January 15: Martin Luther King Jr Rally

In partnership with the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign, the staff of FAN joined the annual MLK Peace Walk and Parade.

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January 22: Day of Prayer for the Unborn

Although heavy snow in DC on January 19, 2024 precluded our usual participation in the March for Life, FAN staff gathered to commemorate the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on January 22, 2024. FAN supports a Consistent Ethic of Life, upholding the sacred value and dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.

January 5: Faith in Democracy Interfaith Vigil

FAN and Faith in Peace Concerts hosted the third annual Faith in Democracy Interfaith Vigil. If you missed any of the event, you can watch the recording by clicking the link below. Our featured faith leaders shared messages on unity in these divided times. Inspirational music from D.C. a cappella group Reverb and duo The Sweater Set accompanied the event.

Recording on our website

Photos of the event

January 9: Save Asylum Interfaith Vigil

FAN joined Hope Border Institute, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and other immigration advocates for an interfaith prayer vigil in support of asylum.

This showing of solidarity coincided with Congress members returning to Capitol Hill after the winter recess to resume ongoing negotiations that would trade away the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers in exchange for short-term foreign aid.

Link to Live Stream

January 13: Prayer vigil for ceasefire in Gaza

Christian faith leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. for a prayer vigil calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Franciscan Action Network cosponsored the event along with Churches for Middle East Peace, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Justice Team, Pax Christi USA, and Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM was a participant in the vigil, reading a passage from a letter to Congress from faith leaders urging diplomatic solutions to the violence.

Watch the live stream

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