Latin American Bishops
Medellín, Colombia
September 6, 1968
I. The Latin American Situation and Peace
1. If “development is the new name for peace,”1 Latin American under-development with its own characteristics in the different countries is an unjust situation which promotes tensions that conspire against peace. We can divide these tensions into three major groups, selected, in each of these, those variables which constitute a positive menace to the peace of our countries by manifesting an unjust situation. When speaking of injustice, we refer to those realities that constitute a sinful situation; this does not mean however, that we are overlooking the fact that at times the misery in our countries can have natural causes which are difficult to overcome. In making this analysis, we do not ignore or fail to give credit to the positive efforts made at every level to build a more just society. We do not include this here because our purpose is to call attention to those aspects which constitute a menace or negation of peace.

A Reflection by Fr. Julio Martinez, OFM Conv.

From the Heart

“Why the Children?”
Sometimes we stay away from discussing certain issues because they are politically charged and because of that, we become concerned with the ramifications that such discussions will have on us.  Yet, there are issues in our society and in our world that need to be addressed and discussed no matter the consequences. It’s never easy.
We, as a people in our country, have a situation at our southern border that rips apart the human heart, especially when it comes to the children.  The news give us information about the inhumane policies that are creating a cruel environment for these children. As people of good will and as believers in a God of compassion, as revealed to us by Jesus, we need to do everything possible to see the human faces of these children and recognize the situation at the border from a humane point of view.  It cannot be just an “issue.”
When it comes to the situation at our southern border there is enough blame to go around the planet an infinite number of times. Where will such blame game get us? What will it accomplish? What good will it bring to us and to humanity at large?
Why the children?
Do we honestly believe that we have the right to treat children in such a way? What have we become? What do such policies say about who we are?

Let us pray:

Friar Julio serves as pastor of St. Julia Catholic Church, in Siler City, NC

JPIC – Student Friars’ Summer Service Experience

As friars minor, our call to “minority”, or being “lesser”, brings us to a new way of life through a spirit of prayer and devotion, evangelization, and fraternal life.  Our JPIC Summer immersion program seeks to reflect on these Franciscan values and Catholic social teaching in our society now.


Our Province Friars who minister in Coal Township, Shamokin and Trevorton (Pennsylvania) are undertaking a new ministry that will address sustainability in the Coal Region.

CUA – Spring Break Service Trips

Our Lady of the Angels Province friar and Associate Chaplain for the CUA Faculty & Staff, Fr. Louis Maximilian Smith, OFM Conv. alongside the participants on the Rural Appalachian Service Immersion, in West Virginia.

Our province contributes to the Service & Justice Immersion Program at the Catholic University of America (CUA). Our donation helps keep the cost down; making the program accessible to students from more diverse economic backgrounds. This year, CUA students were able to engage in immersion trips outside the USA to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, as well as trips to the Appalachian region of West Virginia, Philadelphia-PA, El Paso-TX, and Apopka-FL. The program has expanded through the years to facilitate more experiences, opening the participants’ eyes to different realities, struggles and gifts of communities far from their home. These experiences fall right in line with our Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) charism; inspiring the participants to get more involved in social justice.

From volunteering with children to farming with migrants, the students were able to experience different cultures and learn ways to live in solidarity with the poor and marginalized. The students who traveled to rural West Virginia learned about the environmental impacts of mining, and also worked with various social services. Some students lived with migrant families in Florida, while working on the farms with them, and learning more about the challenges immigrants face in the United States. A group of students also went to Jamaica and worked with the Missionaries of the Poor and the Passionist volunteers.

Since returning to campus, many of the student participants have begun volunteering in the Washington, DC area. In just a few weeks, another set of students will travel to Belize and El Salvador for Summer Immersion Trips. Your support of our friars helps our continued support of programs affiliated with our varied ministries. We currently have four friars serving the students, faculty, staff and visitors of The Catholic University of America through the Campus Ministry Office:
Fr. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv. (University Chaplain & Director of Campus Ministry),
Fr. Andrzej Brzeziński, OFM Conv. (Associate Chaplain for Faith Development),
Fr. Louis Maximilian Smith, OFM Conv. (Associate Chaplain for University Faculty and Staff),
Fr. Albert Puliyadan, OFM Conv. (Associate Chaplain for Liturgy and Worship).
Our province also has several student friars in study at CUA, and together with our friars in ministry, they help to enhance CUA’s Campus Ministry as a place where friends soon become family, expanding the capacity to serve and love others, while finding the freedom to take a deeper dive into what it means to live a life of faith.
Learn more about Campus Ministry at CUA