Finding 'great hope' in "Fratelli Tutti"
St. Francis of Assisi challenged injustices of war, culture and religion in the time of the Crusades and counseled his brothers and sisters to live together in nonviolence, acceptance and fraternity. Now, in a humanity overwhelmed by inequity of every kind, Pope Francis calls us in "Fratelli Tutti" to again follow our patron saint's lead.
There is much to consider in the pope's third encyclical letter, published in October 2020. We offer these reflections as invitation to "Fratelli Tutti" contemplation and conversation.
Sister Laura Nettles
Our Christian identity and Franciscan charism remind us that we are all inextricably linked to one another — that we are all brothers and sisters. But how do we authentically encounter each other when there are so many physical, ideological, intellectual and emotional barriers?
This is the question that is at the heart of Pope Francis' "Fratelli Tutti." Despite the numerous challenges to our fraternal humanity, the Pontiff invites us to reimagine a better, more just world that recognizes, through word and deed, our connection to each other.
But we can only do that when we reach out with unselfish and unconditional love. This love moves us beyond our limitations and invites us to see the humanity in each other while helping to mend our world and ourselves. This, for Pope Francis, is truly "love in action."
Sister Sarah Hennessey
"Fratelli Tutti" gives me great hope. As a keen observer of the global pulse, Pope Francis deftly diagnoses our current woes and charts a path of not only dreams but of concrete actions. The answer for Francis is love. "Charity is capable of building a new world" (183). Love works to change the conditions that cause suffering (186) and seeks to make the oppressor end his oppression (241). And he boldly declares "the adoption of a culture of dialogue as a path; mutual cooperation as a code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard" (285). I have hope for a real way forward for the world.
Affiliate Emily Crook
In an age where the voices of our leaders are engaged in the shouting of demands and fake news, here comes Father Francis, quietly stating the truth we feel in our hearts all along. From someone who is working with society in ways that leech the heart, it's so beautifully comforting to witness a leader who knows what's going on and who has the beautiful message of gritty hope so desperately needed.
"Fratelli Tutti" study guide
Now available at fspa.org: "Fratelli Tutti" Study Guide, prepared by Sister of St. Francis of the Providence of God Margaret Carney and Father Pat McCloskey, member of the Order of Friars Minor, and their team of collaborators. Sister Margaret and Father Pat invite you to use this study guide with small or large groups and for personal reflection. Also available on the resource page is a link to the full encyclical.
Also in the December 2020 e-edition of Presence:
FSPA called to envision the future with new formation team
Access to healthy food and white privilege
Hope for the world radiates from Villa St. Joseph
FSPA sisters and affiliates embrace virtual fall gathering