Walking the Walk
Brother Conrad Rebmann, OFM, is a modest, well-respected friar. In the 1980s while working at Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati, he noted that one of the annual highlights of the school year was the “Adopt a Family” program. Each classroom adopted a poor family, and raised money to buy gifts and food for their family for Christmas. Students wanted other opportunities to help people the rest of the year, so Br. Conrad helped them find transportation on Saturday mornings to the Over-the Rhine neighborhood. They would help at the Red Cross office, clean up the sidewalks in front of apartments and storefronts, paint, mow and clean up landscapes for elders and the physically-impaired. The principal of St. Francis Seraph School thought students might benefit from tutoring and companionship from these willing volunteers—and the experience would benefit the young people from Roger Bacon. Soon the service project became “Bacon Buddies,” with Br. Conrad as the advisor. Bacon Buddies raised money to rent busses and accompany their young friends in social activities. They would visit a pumpkin farm where the Bacon Buddies taught the students how to carve pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns. For many of these children, this was their first excursion outside of the city. After hearing about local college students spending a night in cardboard boxes to acquaint themselves with how their homeless neighbors survived, Br. Conrad encouraged Roger Bacon students to become involved in a similar activity where they slept outside at the school in what became a tradition called “Shanty Town.” Today’s RB students are still benefitting from Br. Conrad’s initiatives.
recommended links
Read about global issues being addressed at the United Nations.
OFM JPIC Resources
What are friars doing worldwide? Visit Rome's OFM-JPIC Office web site.
“We, the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province, commit ourselves to increase our awareness of issues surrounding refugees, migrants, and victims of human trafficking in order to develop more proactive Franciscan responses on the provincial, friary and personal level.”
— 2008 Chapter Resolution,
Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province, USA
Greetings, Good People!
Francis of Assisi, our patron, experienced all of God's creation as sacred. His famous Canticle of the Creatures includes the words:
"All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Sun…Sister Moon and Stars… Brothers Wind and Air…Sister Water… Brother Fire… Sister Earth…Sister Death. All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made. Happy those who endure in peace."
Francis had a profound respect for all of life. He experienced true solidarity with the poor and marginalized. As he embraced Lady Poverty, Francis was freed to live very simply, making peace in every encounter. It is these values that inspire our JPIC efforts. We work to bring about justice and peace in our world, to end violence and war, poverty and oppression and the destruction of our planet. Our efforts are often directed at the systems that cause this oppression and destruction. We work in collaboration with Franciscans and others around the world. We believe that these common efforts are gradually transforming our world.
We invite you to join us on this journey. If you would like to be added to our e-mail alert list, please contact us at sjbjpic@franciscan.org. We encourage you to visit our pages often and take action, as you are able. We hope that you, too, will be transformed in the process.
Blessings and peace,
Sr. Donna Graham, OSF
Office of Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O divine master, grant that I may not
So much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
In pardoning that we are pardoned,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.