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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.

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

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Joseph Calasanz: 
		<p>From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz. A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.</p>
		<p>When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, he and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work and in 1621 the community (for so the teachers lived) was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi). Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.</p>
		<p>A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo (a friend of Joseph) as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps. Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph’s death were they formally recognized as a religious community.</p>
American Catholic Blog The Church’s motherhood is a spiritual reality that profoundly affects the lives of believers. In fact, the famous convert to Catholicism Cardinal John Henry Newman once said that it was through his reading and encounter with the Church of the Fathers that “I found my spiritual Mother.”

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