Rob Breen, SFO
Ecospirituality Retreat in Bolivia
Franciscans Can Study God & Ecology for Ministries,
Work with Indigenous Peoples to Promote Justice
ALBANY -- This past summer, Rob Breen, SFO, toured the Amazon jungle of Bolivia as part of an effort to establish a permanent Franciscan International Ecological Sanctuary in partnership with the Franciscan Friars of the Bolivian Province and Holy Name Province, and the Franciscan Ecology Center in Albany, New York.
Rob traveled with Friars Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, and Ignatius “Iggy” Harding, OFM, to the Madidi region of the Amazon to a conservation reserve called Serere, managed by EcoBolivia, a nonprofit conservation and ecotourism organization.
There they planned the details of a future Franciscan Ecospirituality Retreat aimed at engaging members of the Franciscan Family - -Seculars, Friars, Sisters and Franciscan Young Adults (YouFra) - - in Franciscan Ecospirituality, environmental service, and work with local indigenous peoples to promote environmental justice.
There are many needs in the region -- poverty, inequality, discrimination, pollution, environmental degradation, endangered species, rainforest destruction, and lack of clean water and much of the impact can be traced back to market forces in the U.S. and other developed nations, Rob says.
“The hope is that members of the Franciscan Family will participate in an annual eco-pilgrimage and Franciscan Ecospirituality Retreat in the rainforest of Bolivia, experience the presence of God in Creation and in the indigenous people of the region, and then return to the U.S. and engage in Care for Creation and Environmental Justice ministries at home,” Rob explains.
The first Franciscan Ecospirituality Retreat in Bolivia is being planned for August 2008. For more information, or to join in this Franciscan eco-adventure, contact Rob Breen, SFO at RobBreenSFO@KateriRegion.org.