South Asian Franciscan Network
Bangalore (Agenzia Fides) - The Franciscans of the South Asian countries reaffirm their commitment to serve the poor and marginalized, helping, in particular, to respond to the most pressing social issues that occur in South Asia: the rights of indigenous peoples, the problems of migrants, the status of women, the care and custody of the environment, which affects the lives of local people.
The "South Asian Franciscan Network" was established in this region bringing together over 60 thousand among religious, lay people who are inspired by the charism of the Poverello of Assisi, scattered in about 200 religious counties, distributed between Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and even Myanmar. The Franciscans are engaged in educational, health and social services with particular attention to the care and development of the poorest and most needy, vulnerable or marginalized.
The delegates of the different provinces met in recent days in Bangalore to reflect together and launch concrete plans of action in the South Asian context. The guidelines for reflection and action, reports to Fides Fr. Nithiya Sagayam OFM Cap. Coordinator of the Network, were two of Pope Francis’ documents: "Laudato Sì" and "Misericordiae Vultus", with attention to a "prophetic vision", which the followers of Francis wish to have.
Among the issues addressed: the status of women and gender-based violence; the Christian and Franciscan response to the materialistic and consumerist culture; Franciscan contribution to building peace in society. The South Asian Franciscan Network will continue its work of coordination among different nations and will also propose regular training sessions and workshops. "Always in the perspective of how to better serve the last of society", concludes Fr. Nithiya Sagayam. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/04/2016)