The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Offices of the Conventual and Capuchin Franciscans co-sponsored a Social Theatre Workshop at our Conventual Franciscan Friary of St. John the Baptist in Legnica, Poland, from August 7-18, 2022.
Responding to the war in Ukraine, Friars Michael LASKY, OFM Conv., and Joel DE JESUS, OFM Cap., General Delegates for GPIC, worked with Ukrainian Secular Franciscans to organize this facilitator’s training program. Its purpose is to provide new skills for those in a position to assist Ukrainians suffering from war trauma, especially children.
Friar Stefano LUCA, OFM Cap., Director of the Capuchin Social Theatre Department, conducted the workshop, using a series of exercises and activities, internationally called Social Theater Training, to effectively teach participants how to work in trauma response and psychosocial animation. This Franciscan ministry also considers the spiritual sphere of vulnerable people for the purpose of integral care giving.
At the end of the workshop, participants planned the beginnings of local Social Theatre Groups for Ukrainian children in three locations throughout Poland and in a town just south of Kyiv, Ukraine. They will be supported by the friars through online sessions over the next six months. In early February, the group will gather in person for a follow-up training session. It is the hope of the GPIC Offices of the Conventual and Capuchin Franciscans that a workshop will eventually be conducted in Ukraine, once hostilities cease.
On behalf of all who were a part of the program, we would like to express our gratitude to the local community of friars in Legnica, especially Friars Jan PAWLIK and Andrzej LANIECKI. They opened their home to us, assisted us in meeting the varied needs of the program, and connected us with local Ukrainian children who benefited from being a part of our training.
Friar Michael LASKY, General Delegate for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation