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:
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
- Sight Magazine
- Independent Catholic News
- Religion News Service
- National Catholic Reporter
- Bishop John Stowe Op-Ed
- The Guardian
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
WATCH the Instagram Live Stream:
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.
Oct. 18: Ceasefire Rally at Capitol
Oct. 20: Protest and Call for Ceasefire
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.
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.
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.
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.
August 26: March on Washington
July 20: Introduction of Freedom to Vote Act
FAN joined the Declaration for American Democracy (DFAD) to rally with Members of Congress and leaders from civil rights, labor, environmental, and good government organizations. Together, we called on the need to pass the Freedom to Vote Act Act. Find the full livestream here.
Two Major Elections Bills, Two Different Visions for Voters I Democracy Docket
House and Senate Democrats Reintroduce the Freedom to Vote Act I Democracy Docket
National bill on voting standards pushed anew by Democrats in Congress I Pennsylvania Star I Minnesota Reformer
U.S. Rep. Sewell Announces Freedom to Vote Act I Selma Times Journal
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.
June 8: Protest of Mountain Valley Pipeline
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 23: "Made in America" Rally Against Gun Violence
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.
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)