The Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO) has established a Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (GPIC). On Friday, February 12, 2021, Commission members from Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia and the Ukraine held their first online meeting.

The FEMO President, Friar Marian GOŁĄB, stressed that the activity of this body shall help with the implementation of Motion No. 6 of the 2019 General Chapter, which deals with ecological conversion.

MOTION 6: The Invitation to Ecological Conversion
The General Chapter shall decide that:
a) during the 2019-2025 sexennium, each Federation of the Order, with the help of the Delegate General for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, shall promote reflection on the topic of the social and environmental crisis. Referencing Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, they shall more deeply examine its main lines of thought and study ways to consolidate a common ecological conscience. The modalities (for example a convention held at the Jurisdiction or Federation level, or information sheets on the topic for use during House Chapters, or elsewhere) shall be defined at the Jurisdiction or Federation level;
b) in the light of the Church’s Magisterium, in particular, the encyclical Laudato Si’, each Jurisdiction of the Order shall establish its own local criteria for justice and environmental sustainability in order to evaluate and then direct financial and real estate resources.

In his opening remarks, the FEMO President defined the new Commission as “a workshop of ecological thought based on Franciscan spirituality and the teaching of the Church.” He observed that ecology “is a vital world from which we cannot be eliminated. The voice of the Church must be heard among those who are committed to protecting the environment. I see great needs and opportunities for us Franciscans in this area, and especially at this time. This can become a place of encounter with the Church, for those to whom the Christian worldview is foreign or even hostile.”
The President of the Commission, Friar Stanisław JAROMI, briefly outlined the history of the Order’s involvement in ecological issues, recalling, among other things, the Church’s proclamation in 1979, of St. Francis of Assisi as the Patron Saint of Ecologists.
The Commission is composed of Friar Stanisław JAROMI from the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow); Friar Józef ASZYK from the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw), Friar Tomasz TĘGOWSKI from the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk); Friar Patryk RYGIEL from the Province of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the Czech Republic; Friar Michał STASZAK from the Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in the Ukraine; Friar Peter KOZMA from the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM in Slovakia and Friar Andrian ZUDIN from the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi.

The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for March 26, 2021.

Friar Jan M. SZEWEK