Welcome! We at Franciscan Action Network (FAN) are excited to join with you as we advocate for Franciscan values.
Franciscans have a rich history of advocacy, beginning with St. Francis. In his 1220 “Letter to the Rulers of the People,” St. Francis encouraged civil authorities to be mindful of Gospel truths. He saw his duty as interceding before those with power in favor of the just cause of the Gospel: the message of love, mercy, peace and justice for God’s children.
Franciscan advocacy in our current time is the strategic and deliberate process to bring about change in policies and practice, while also being a way to help people realize their power and give effective input in the decision making processes that impact them and creation. Franciscan advocacy calls on leaders to use their power in ways that promote peace, protect creation, and support the well-being and human dignity of all people, especially those in a situation of poverty or on the margins.
Ways to Advocate for Franciscan Values
FAN was established to be a collective Franciscan voice, seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. When our staff members go to Capitol Hill to speak with Congressional representatives, it is helpful to report on constituent actions in the Congress members’ district. Only by working together can we truly bring about change.
Your advocacy matters!
We have assembled a list of priority legislation for the current 117th Congress. This is not an exhaustive list, but represents the type of advocacy work that FAN and our partners are currently involved in.
St. Clare’s Pledge Various Legislation
Congress updates this legislation website with details about various pieces of legislation, leadership in both the House and Senate, and much more. We invite you to familiarize yourself with it, searching for bills on issues you care about.
Sign up for our newsletter and action alerts to stay informed on what issues we are currently working on. Let us know what issues inspire you and when there is a way to take action, we will make you aware of it.
Call your Member of Congress
Constituent calls are a valuable way of influencing members of Congress. If you are not sure who your members of Congress are, click on this link to find your federal, state and local elected officials.
FAN invites you to take the St. Clare Pledge and commit to calling Congress each week. You can find a sample call-in script and more information here.
Meet with your Member of Congress
In-person or virtual meetings are one of the most effective ways to engage in advocacy.
Click here for a short document that walks you through how to set up a meeting.
Click here for helpful information on planning a successful meeting, and ensuring that your message is clearly communicated.
If you would like more information about effective advocacy, please watch this April, 2021 presentation by Bob Simon entitled “Making a Difference for Creation Through Lobbying.” (See video below)
When you conduct a meeting with your members of congress, let us know! Fill out this short form so we can best create a collective Franciscan voice on national legislation.
Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor
Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor are powerful ways to let your voice be heard on a particular issue. A letter to the Editor is a conventional letter sent to a magazine or newspaper to discuss the problems from its readers. It’s a good way to propose an idea to others in the community, impact public opinion or educate the public on a specific issue. It’s also a proven way to impact elected officials or policymakers in a direct or indirect way.
For tips on how to write successful pieces, please click here.
Join a Franciscan Justice Circle
Franciscan Justice Circles (FJCs) are part of a movement of faithful engagement in the public sphere, rooted in the Franciscan tradition. They are places where people actively work to be a community of love in action, engaging in social or environmental justice issues that are important to them in their communities. If you would like to find out more information, please visit our webpage.
If you have questions about Franciscan Justice Circles or other ways to get involved, please contact us.
Making a Difference Through Advocacy
During our monthly National Solidarity Table Call in April 2021, we welcomed Bob Simon who provided us this informative presentation on advocating to your elected officials. Bob is an independent consultant and advisor on energy, science, and technology issues. In addition to his professional consulting, he is active in assisting his local Franciscan parish St Camillus in Silver Sping, MD, along with the Archdiocese of Washington, and Catholics across Maryland with clean energy and climate issues.
As Saints Francis’ and Clare’s spirituality brought them to see Jesus present in all people and the created world, may we nurture relationships with our elected officials and decision-makers that encourage them to act for the betterment of all.
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