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Franciscan Green View Comments
By Alicia von Stamwitz

“How can we work together to defend the poor and . . . the world that we all love?” asks Father Joe Rozansky, OFM, international director of JPIC.
The General Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor affirm the centrality of environmental justice in the Franciscan mission. Father Joe Rozansky, OFM, is international director of
the Franciscan Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC).

The Bronx native has been based in Rome since his 2005 appointment to the JPIC office. He is a member of the Holy Name Province of Franciscan Friars, based in New York City.

Father Rozansky traveled back to the United States not long ago to facilitate a seminar for JPIC animators and interested friars of the English-speaking Conference. St. Anthony Messenger caught up with him after the seminar, on the grounds of Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Illinois.


Alicia von Stamwitz lives in St. Louis, where she is an independent consultant and freelance author.

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John of Monte Corvino: At a time when the Church was heavily embroiled in nationalistic rivalries within Europe, it was also reaching across Asia to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Mongols. John of Monte Corvino went to China about the same time Marco Polo was returning. 
<p>John was a soldier, judge and doctor before he became a friar. Prior to going to Tabriz, Persia (present-day Iran), in 1278, he was well known for his preaching and teaching. In 1291 he left Tabriz as a legate of Pope Nicholas IV to the court of Kublai Khan. An Italian merchant, a Dominican friar and John traveled to western India where the Dominican died. When John and the Italian merchant arrived in China in 1294, Kublai Khan had recently died. </p><p>Nestorian Christians, successors to the dissidents of the fifth-century Council of Ephesus’ teaching on Jesus Christ, had been in China since the seventh century. John converted some of them and also some of the Chinese, including Prince George from Tenduk, northwest of Beijing. Prince George named his son after this holy friar. </p><p>John established his headquarters in Khanbalik (now Beijing), where he built two churches; his was the first resident Catholic mission in the country. By 1304 he had translated the Psalms and the New Testament into the Tatar language. </p><p>Responding to two letters from John, Pope Clement V named John Archbishop of Khanbalik in 1307 and consecrated seven friars as bishops of neighboring dioceses. One of the seven never left Europe. Three others died along the way to China; the remaining three bishops and the friars who accompanied them arrived there in 1308. </p><p>When John died in 1328, he was mourned by Christians and non-Christians. His tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage. In 1368, Christianity was banished from China when the Mongols were expelled and the Ming dynasty began. John’s cause has been introduced in Rome.</p> American Catholic Blog We look ahead to the coming of the Son of Man, standing erect and with heads held high. We live in hope, not in fear. Our experience of God is no longer limited by human weakness or even human sinfulness. God has always been one step ahead of us, with a plan that exceeds our greatest desires.

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