We are a grassroots organization amplifying the justice efforts of Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people around the country. Join our growing movement that endures from St. Francis of Assisi and his call for compassion for the poor and for creation over 800 years ago.
The Early Years:
The original idea for FAN came as a result of a challenge by Franciscans International and the Roman 6. They felt that a great deal of the work they did at the UN and in Rome was affected by what happened in the United States. They called for all of the different branches of the Franciscan families to come together and present a unified Franciscan voice in Washington DC.One of the early leaders was Sister Margaret Mary Kimmons, an Allegheny Franciscan sister, Margaret Mary had served on the board of Franciscans International and she also worked as director of faith outreach at Bread for The World. She had a unique perspective on the connection between what happens in Washington and what happens at the UN. Margaret Mary along with Russ Testa, who was the JPIC director for the Holy Name Province of the OFM, Brother Tino Arias from the St Mary’s Province of the Capuchin, and Tom Bello the National Minister of the secular Franciscans formed a steering committee.
In the fall of 2007 there was a gathering in Baltimore of approximately 150 Franciscans from across the country. This gathering included leaders from all three orders as well as leaders from the Anglican Franciscans and the Ecumenical Franciscans. At this gathering FAN was created. The years 2008-2009 were primarily used to organize FAN. An advisory/action committee was created with representatives from all branches of the Franciscan family and all geographic regions. Bylaws and Articles of incorporation were written, a board of directors was established and FAN received its 501 (C) (3) status. Russ served as intern director until a permanent director could be hired. Father Larry Janezic was hired in 2009. In 2010, Patrick Carolan came on board as the executive director and still holds that position. Margaret Mary served as the first president of the board until 2013 when she stepped down and was replaced by Sister Margaret Magee, also an Allegheny Franciscan.