At this special time of the year, we are inspired by the story of the Nativity and the images it provokes. From the poor displaced couple made to give birth to their Son in a stable, to the shepherds caring for their flocks and the gifts of the Magi, we share a collective tradition of gift-giving. One of the strongest messages of Christmas is generosity.
This Christmas, more than ever, we believe it is imperative to have a continued Franciscan voice in the public dialogue. On the core issues embraced by the Franciscan Action Network, we expect to see significant policy shifts in the areas of immigration and refugees, climate, gun violence and peacemaking, poverty, social justice, civil liberties, and money in politics.
Change is coming, no matter who you voted for.
This year the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) has grown beyond our founders' dreams. Here is a look at all we have accomplished in 2016:
- Organized & Hosted a Money In Politics symposium in Manchester, NH looking at the issue from a Faith perspective. Speakers were Sr. Simone Campbell and Karenna Gore along with local faith leaders who spoke about how the faith community can help get big money out of politics. The event included extensive local press coverage and the program was broadcast on local TV. (Pictured here)
- FAN participated in a major forum at the University of Arizona on Food Justice, Faith and Climate Change organized by Gary "Brother Coyote" Nabhan.
- FAN Co-Organized & sponsored Democracy Awakening and Ecumenical Advocacy Days where we conducted workshops, coordinated a prayer vigil, marched with a Golden Calf (pictured here) and made visits to Congress.
- We hosted students from University of North Carolina for alternative Spring Break seminars where they came to D.C. to learn about advocacy and lobbying their legislators.
- We continue ongoing promotion of Brave New Films' documentary about gun violence, "Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA."
- FAN partnered with Unity Productions Foundation as advisors to "The Sultan and the Saint" docu-drama. The World premiere of the film in November saw a sold-out venue of 1,400 seats at the start of a screening tour around the United States. On this very special night, FAN's own Sr. Marie Lucey was given a Peace Award for her “compassionate service beyond (her) faith tradition.”(Pictured here)
- FAN continues organizing and advocating as well as publishing several statements in support of refugees and denouncing the raids of immigrant families after Supreme Court ruling against DACA/DAPA in April.
Recognizing that we could not have accomplished so much without your support, both financially and in prayer, we thank you for all you have done and hope you continue to support us through tax-deductible donations for 2017. You can click here to donate online or send a check to P.O. Box 29106, Washington, DC 20017.
Looking ahead to next year, FAN has even more in store. FAN will continue to promote nationwide screenings of the Sultan and the Saint film throughout 2017, including it's television premiere. We have plans in the works for hosting several international screenings. We are already working to coordinate and bring people to the streets of Washington, D.C. during the first 100 days of the new national administration as part of the People’s Climate Mobilization rally to ensure action is taken to combat the climate crisis. We will continue our advocacy work in support of our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. With rumors of a Muslim registry circulating, FAN is prepared to perform civil disobedience at a national level. We will fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline and stand with our Native brothers and sisters protecting their sacred lands. We will host Catholics of Color Ecological Justice Training workshops in multiple cities across the country. We look to build local Franciscan Solidarity Tables and a Laudato Si Alliance in the coming year.
FAN continues to be funded by our Institutional Members and Communities, by grants and by the generous contributions of individuals. Your tax deductible donations allow us to stretch beyond our normal capacity and reach out to those working in the front line communities. We would not be able to continue this work without your generous spiritual and financial contributions.
With the incoming national administration, we believe the need for our work will likely grow. We will need to double our efforts and hope you can be as generous as possible. We want to continue to spread a Franciscan vision into and well beyond 2017.
Peace and all good~
Janine Walsh and Marty Dunleavy