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.

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.

As being a Franciscan presence in the public arena is part of our mission, here is what we’ve attended so far this year:

December 2023

Dec. 28: Peace Action at Pentagon

Executive Director Michele Dunne participated in a peace action at the US Pentagon on December 28, 2023 organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House. The action included a prayer service on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, calling attention to the thousands of children killed and injured in Gaza as well as many other wars with weapons or forces from the US. Two members of the group performed civil disobedience by holding a protest sign at the Pentagon entrance.

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Dec. 6: National Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence

Franciscan Action Network is a sponsor of the National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. This annual event brings together prominent speakers and invites a space for reflection and prayer for all victims of gun violence.

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Dec. 11: Christmas Ceasefire Service

Franciscan Action Network cosponsored a worship service calling for a ceasefire in Gaza which united Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians in adding our voices to an escalating ceasefire movement. Eli McCarthy spoke on behalf of FAN, reminding attendees that “War is trauma.”

Watch the live stream on YouTube

Dec. 15: Hearts at Home Rally

FAN staff joined Value our Families’ Hearts@Home Campaign at a rally honoring families who are separated by our family immigration system.  Attendees showed support for millions of people stuck abroad and waiting indefinitely to reunite with family, and for hundreds of thousands of family members already in the United States who, because of the backlogs, are at risk of losing status or being deported from their homes here. We encourage you to share this video in your social media

More Photos from FAN staff

Photos from event organizers

Facebook live Video

NBC News coverage

November 2023

Nov. 2: Pray-In at White House

FAN staff joined Catholic and other Christian peacemakers for a “pray-in” outside the White House to call on President Joe Biden, a Catholic, to abide by Jesus’s way of courageous love and heed Pope Francis’s plea to take the side of peace in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Calls were made to urge all parties to de-escalate hostilities, abide by an immediate ceasefire, and release all hostages. Speakers offered prayers for All Saints Day and All Souls Day, remembering all who have died and prayed for all Israelis and Palestinians who are suffering, have been injured, and have died in the war. 


Photos from others

Photos from FAN

WATCH the Live Stream

Nov. 9: Christian Pray-In at Senate Building

FAN cosponsored a pray-in by Christian peacemakers at the Senate Hart Building on Thursday, November 9, 2023, calling on U.S. senators to support a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. The service included intercessory prayers for Palestinian and Israeli victims of violence, a gospel reading, and songs. A short reflection by a Palestinian Christian speaker was interrupted by Capitol Police, who ordered all to disburse. Several demonstrators, including FAN Just Peace Fellow Eli McCarthy and executive director Michele Dunne, laid on the floor in the shape of a cross as part of a planned nonviolent civil disobedience action. The service was completed outside the building.

More Photos from FAN

Photos from others


National Catholic Reporter

WATCH the Instagram Live Stream:

Video Part 1

Video Part 2

Nov. 20: Christian Prayer Vigil calling for #CeaseFireNow

FAN cosponsored a candlelight prayer vigil at the White House where national Christian leaders called for a ceasefire and an end to all violence between Israel and Hamas. FAN Executive Director Michele Dunne was one of numerous speakers who urged a bilateral ceasefire, immediate and adequate humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and the release of hostages.

WATCH the Instagram live stream

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October 2023

Oct. 18: Ceasefire Rally at Capitol

On Wednesday, Oct. 18 at Capitol Building, FAN Director of Advocacy Sr. Maria Orlandini attended a rally led by Jewish Voice for Peace calling for a ceasefire. Take action by clicking here and urge Congress to support a ceasefire. Reuters article about protests worldwide.

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Oct. 20: Protest and Call for Ceasefire

FAN staff Michele Dunne, Gabriela Martinez, and Eli McCarthy joined a peaceful protest in Washington, D.C. organized by a variety of advocacy and civil rights groups to add to calls for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas. Article in The Hill.

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September 2023

Sept. 13: Invest in Welcoming Communities

FAN staff members joined a press event held by NETWORK and Welcome With Dignity campaign to call on Congress to invest in welcoming communities. Three Representatives spoke at the event followed by delivery of the letter to several House offices. The letter was signed by 9,000 Catholics from all 50 states, urging full funding of the Shelter and Services Progam.

Sept. 14: End Fossil Fuels Rally in D.C.

Gabriela Martinez, FAN Associate of Campaigns, attended the End Fossil Fuels rally in Washington, D.C. hosted by the Center for Biological Diversity. Speakers included Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mi), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and others.

More Photos.

Sept. 17: March to End Fossil Fuels in New York City

On Sunday, September 17, FAN staff members Gabriela Martinez and Janine Walsh joined other people of faith at the march to end fossil fuels in New York City. Reconnecting with brothers, friars, and friends from all faiths, we marched through the streets of New York to a rally at the United Nations to show the Biden administration we want bold action to end fossil fuels.

Articles: National Catholic Reporter, NPR, Associate press, New York Times, The Guardian

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August 2023

August 6 & 9: Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Peace Witness

FAN joined other advocates at a peace witness sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, DC. This year marks the 78th anniversary of the United States dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pope Francis has said “the use of nuclear weapons, as well as their mere possession, is immoral.” The US has yet to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) – we continue to pray for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

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Aug. 17-22: Accompaniment to Guatemala

FAN Executive Director Michele Dunne, OFS participated in a delegation of accompaniment to the people and faith leaders of Guatemala during their presidential runoff election, held Aug. 20. Read the statement from the delegation, which was organized by the Root Causes Initiative and find more photos from the trip below.

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August 26: March on Washington

DC Justice Circle members and FAN staff joined other faith groups for a prayer service and participation in the rally and March on Washington on August 26, 2023. This major civil rights event marked the 60th anniversary of the march organized by Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in 1963.  

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July 2023

July 20: Introduction of Freedom to Vote Act

June 2023

June 20-23: Poor People's Campaign Moral Congress

FAN joined impacted people and faith leaders from across the country for a 3-day moral congress to lay out a vision to fully eradicate poverty. We joined visits to over 400 Congressional offices of Senate and House on both sides of the aisle. Poor and low-wealth state leaders, faith leaders and advocates held a powerful speak out in front of the Supreme Court and testified at the Capitol in support of the reintroduction of a Third Reconstruction Resolution and spoke about the death toll created by systematic poverty in America.

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June 7: Close Guantanamo

FAN attended an action today at the U.S. Capitol sponsored by our friends at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) urging the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

June 8: Ban Assault Weapons Sit-in

Samuel Schwartz is a gun violence survivor “sick & tired of congressional inaction” who coordinated a sit-in at the US Capitol to demand a vote to #BanAssaultWeapons. FAN visited Sam and offered prayers and solidarity along with some snacks.

June 8: Protest of Mountain Valley Pipeline

FAN joined People vs Fossil Fuels and other organizers from multiple frontline communities who were at the White House to protest the Mountain Valley Pipeline which threatens to destroy human and natural communities across Appalachia. Read about the event here

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May 2023

May 11: Enough of Gun Violence Rally

Enough of gun Violence and the Newtown Action Alliance hosted a rally at the U.S. Capitol to let elected officials know they will not be silent and will fight for their right to life in the same way as others claim they have a right to bear arms.

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April 2023

April 22: Earth Day

On Saturday, April 22, FAN Staff joined Earth Day DC in marching to the White House to demand that President Biden take bold action to follow through with his promises to End the Era of Fossil Fuels.

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April 26: #CareNotCuts Rally opposing budget cuts

FAN cosponsored a rally in Washington, D.C. opposing the harsh House debt ceiling/spending cut bill. The call was for #CAREnotCUTS in the ongoing budget plans.

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April 26: Oak Flat Prayer at White House

Several Arizona Indigenous leaders sponsored a prayer gathering for Oak Flat in front of the White House as they embark on multiple Congressional meetings. Rep. Raúl Grijalva who is a prominent advocate for the Environmental Justice for All Act was in attendance.

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April 4: EPA Stop Smoking

Joined the Chesapeake Climate Action Network for a march from Freedom Plaza to the EPA urging new power plant rules on pollution.

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April 7: Good Friday at Pentagon

FAN joined a nonviolent witness at the Pentagon to commemorate Good Friday. Organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House and Pax Christi USA, participation included many college students. Small crosses representing victims of militarism and nuclearism, war, racial hatred, discrimination and economic exploitation were distributed among the participants.

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April 7: Good Friday Way of the Cross

FAN cosponsored the annual Virtual Way of the Cross for Economic and Ecological Justice. This Way of the Cross is a special observance of Christ’s passion and an opportunity to reflect on the ways we have broken our covenant with God at the expense of other persons and creation.

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March 2023

March 23: "Made in America" Rally Against Gun Violence

FAN joined the “Made in America” Rally Against Gun Violence organized by #GenerationLockdown. Included speeches were by gun violence survivors, parents of school shooting victims, members of the House of Representatives Pelosi, Cicillini, Jackson Lee, & Frost.

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YouTube Video of Event

February 2023

Feb. 22: Ash Wednesday Liturgy

FAN staff participated in an Ash Wednesday Liturgy of Repentance at the White House.

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Feb. 22: Migrant Rally

FAN joined our friends at Congregation Action Network in calling for migrants in the DC area to have basic needs met.

More information

Feb. 23: Asylum Ban Protest

The FAN staff joined the Welcome with Dignity campaign and Interfaith Immigration Coalition at a rally outside the White House in protest of the proposed ban on asylum seekers at the southern border.

More photos and information

Feb. 14: Remember Parkland

FAN cosponsored this commemoration of the Parkland, FL shooting to honor victims & call for action against gun violence.

More photos and Eagle News Article

Feb. 17: Faith in Peace Concert

FAN cosponsored with Light4America a Faith in Peace Concert in DC to benefit Ukraine.

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Feb. 20: 40 for 40 at White House

At the White House to greet Rev Robert Turner, who walked 40mi from Baltimore to ask the President to study reparations for the enslavement of African Americans.

More information

January 2023

Jan. 13: Gun Violence Prevention Action in VA

Advocacy day in Richmond, VA with Moms Demand Action to engage with lawmakers on Gun Violence prevention.

More information

Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Day

At the Washington, DC MLK Day peace parade with the Poor Peoples Campaign to continue Dr. King’s fight for social, political and economic rights.

More information

Jan. 20: March for Life

At the March for Life each year FAN marches under a banner urging a consistent ethic of life.

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Jan. 5 & 6: Interfaith Vigil

Franciscan Action Network and Light4America together cosponsored  Christian, Muslim, & Jewish faith leaders prayed for unity & peace.

See Recording & More photos

Jan. 11: Close Guantanamo

FAN joined a peaceful vigil at the White House urging the U.S. Government to close Guantanamo. Justice advocates, activists, and attorneys gathered on the 21st anniversary of the opening of the detention facility.

Sponsored by National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT)

Jan. 11: Wear Blue Day

Wear Blue Day helps raise awareness about Human Trafficking. FAN staff participated on social media.

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