Since its emergence, the Franciscan Order has always been closely linked to nature and, consequently, to its preservation. Our Seraphic father, St. Francis, taught us and still guides us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters, respect and contemplate God’s whole creation.
The Santíssimo Nome de Jesus Province of Brazil, located in the country’s central region (Goiás, Tocantins, and the Federal District), sought to carry out a bold sustainability project of photovoltaic energy, that is, coming from Brother Sol. The Justice Service Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) office and the Provincial Secretariat of Evangelization and Mission collaborated on the Project.
We have studied solar energy technology for almost a year and tried to understand its operation, benefits, and financial expenses. Also, the JPIC office and administrative management of the Province developed specific criteria. Then, we went after partners and acquired the information about reaching 100% production to attend all our convents and houses for evangelization.
Today, the Province has the following structures:
– Fundação Frei João Batista Voguel (Br. João Batista Voguel Foundation): It’s responsible for three radio stations in Anápolis and Catalão. It functions as a means of providing service to the community and expressive works in social, cultural, and political area.
– ‘Educate for Life’ Project: In Pires do Rio it works with socially vulnerable children. It includes formation houses for aspirants, postulants, novices, post novitiate students, and Franciscan spirituality center. There are three schools and convents that support parishes’ evangelization spread across Brazil’s vast central region.
Atualmente existem cinco usinas, são elas:
- Santo Antônio plant in the Federal District is for the Santo Antônio college and convent.
- Regina Minorum plant in the area of the house of spirituality and Regina Minorum convent in Anápolis is for the João Batista Voguel Foundation, the convents, the Poor Clare sisters and the Bethânia house.
- São Francisco de Assis plant in Anápolis is for the São Francisco school and theater.
- Sagrado Coração de Jesus plant, located at the Sagrado Coração de Jesus school in Pires do Rio, is for the school itself and the São Boaventura farm where there are the Order’s Interprovincial novitiate house and other offices of the Province.
- Divina Providência plant in Araguacema is for the convent and parish of the cities of Araguacema and Lajeado.
As for their capacity, the Regina Minorum plant reduces 13.9 tonnes of CO2 emission every month, which is equivalent to preserving 356 trees. In addition to the financial gain from the decrease in the energy bill, we give human life a new chance.
The Province wants to take new steps towards a sustainable way of life with concrete actions. Indeed, we will contribute to a better world this way. We are grateful to the friars of the Province who believed in this new way to live as Franciscans today.