Gustav Kpeyibor, SJ – Vatican City
In an interview with Vatican Radio/Vatican News Head of English Africa and KiSwahili Service, Fr. Paul Samasumo, Fr. Felix Mushobozi C.PP.S, said members of the USG-UISG last year embarked on a campaign known as “Sowing Hope for the Planet.” The campaign seeks to engage male and female religious congregations worldwide to transform the objectives of Laudato Sì into concrete initiatives to care for the Planet.
USG-UISG Justice and Peace Commission
Fr. Mushobozi explained what the JPIC Commission was all about.
JPIC, which stands for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, is a joint commission for both female and male Catholic religious congregations under the auspices of Superiors General. Their offices are in Rome, Italy.
Formed in 1982, the JPIC Commission is a collaborative commission established by the Union of Superior Generals (USG), which is the worldwide body of male religious congregations and the International Union of Superior Generals (UISG), its female equivalent.
As a Commission, JPIC is responsible for animating men and women religious congregations in justice, peace and integrity of creation through experience, social analysis, spiritual reflection and action. The Commission coordinates collaboration among male and female religious congregations to work on peace, justice and social issues such as refugees, migration, human trafficking, ecology, poverty, human rights, peace building, sexual violence, the environment and other collaborative work.
Efforts of the JPIC Commission in Africa
According to Fr. Mushobozi, in Africa, the Commission is actively involved in tackling issues such as migration, human trafficking and in particular, sexual violence in conflict areas. The commission is active in the conflict areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Uganda. The latter receives many refugees from neighbouring countries facing conflict.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) organise an annual workshop for priests and religious on pastoral, psychological and concrete interventions to help victims of sexual violence in conflict situations.
In Uganda, a similar workshop is organised to train priests and religious on how to engage with victims of sexual violence from neighbouring countries with a history of conflict and war.
Sowing Hope for the Planet Campaign
The Sowing of Hope Planet Campaign, explains Fr. Mushobozi, focuses its mission on a particular theme each year. This year, the theme concentrates on ways to respond to the call for holiness with an emphasis on promoting God’s reign of justice, peace and love.
JPIC has since relaunched the Sowing Hope for the Planet campaign in collaboration with the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
“This campaign is motivated by Laudato Sì in which Pope Francis has underlined the fundamental connection that exists between the environmental crises and the social crises that the world is experiencing for a personal and community ecological conversion. Everything is connected,” said Fr. Mushobozi.
Put differently, the Sowing Hope for the Planet Campaign seeks to connect creation with people suffering from climate change, pollution and other environmental issues.
Fr. Mushobozi a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood is returning to Tanzania to take up a new appointment.