Kenya: Franciscan religious launch Justice and Peace office in Nairobi

 Some 120 Franciscan Sisters and Brothers gathered in Nairobi to show unity, mutual commitment, and goodwill among all the members as the country grapples with division and violence. They tied white ribbons around one another's wrists as a sign of togetherness: to express peace, unity, and togetherness among all the members of the Franciscan Family. The function on Saturday also saw the official opening of the Franciscan Family Association Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, whose purpose will be to "handle conflicts, turmoil, hatred and lack of unity differently than Cain did in the Bible. Referring to the Franciscan Canticle of Brother Sun, Br Gianfrancesco Sisto recalled that: "for all those who give pardon and bear infirmity and tribulation out of Love for Christ, praised be you my Lord. Blessed are those who endure in peace, for by you Most High, they shall be crowned". The formation communities of the Capuchins, Conventuals, Franciscan Missionaries of Hope, and Little Sisters of St. Francis performed songs. Short dramas expressed how situations of conflict can be resolved in moving towards one another and in searching for dialogue. If a mediator is needed, one can easily be found among people of good will. Currently, some 350,000 Kenyans are internally displaced people living in camps, schools, church buildings and at police stations. Participants at the event offered their donations to be given to the Conventuals of Limuru where several camps for the displaced are located. As a concrete expression, a paper including 10 significant points was signed by everyone, committing themselves to work for "miracles of peace" by renouncing all kinds of selfishness, dualism, error, violence, hatred, fear, and false expectations. Instead they committed themselves to planting seeds of peace, encouragement, construction, love, compassion, and forgiveness. The participants concluded that "with our Franciscan message, we have the power to bring healing and reconciliation into the present violent society of Kenya." Source: CISA

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