ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — A Thursday, March 7, speaker at St. Bonaventure University will reflect on the Franciscan approach to migration and immigration.
Russell M. Testa will discuss “Franciscans as Movers — Reflection on the Franciscan Approach to Immigration in our Current Time” at 7 p.m. March 7 in Walsh Auditorium on campus.
Testa will briefly explore the Franciscan approach to migration and immigration, and then bring this living narrative to the United States’ current discussion on immigration reform.
The program, sponsored by the university’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern and Clare College, is free and open to the public.
Testa is the director of the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, which serves the friars and ministries of the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor, based primarily on the East Coast of the U.S.
The JPIC Office serves Holy Name Province by helping to improve social justice ministries in its various locales. The scope of its work encompasses the entire continuum of social justice ministry, from direct service to education and advocacy. Russell founded the JPIC Office in 2000, the same year he founded the Center for Ministry and Public Life at Washington Theological Union. The center strives to add an applied and public justice presence to the life of its graduate students of ministry.
Russell served as the director of both the JPIC Office and the center until 2006. Russell’s departure from the center enabled him to focus solely on the JPIC Office and a new project to develop the Franciscan Action Network (FAN). Russell served as the founding executive director and served as the network’s policy adviser from 2007 to 2010. He has since returned more fully to his service with the friars and ministries of Holy Name Province.
Prior to Russell’s work with the Franciscans, he served in a variety of church ministries, including campus ministry at the University of Kansas, archdiocesan social justice in Chicago, Catholic Relief Services, and a national training program with the Center of Concern. In these ministries, Russell was able to work with a variety of people to help them strategically move their ministries to new levels of quality and effectiveness.
Russell studied social ethics at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and economics at the University of Kansas. He is the author of several articles and has a strong background in group facilitation and training. A native of Kansas, he lives in Wheaton, Md., with his wife, Megeen, and their dog, Clare.