About Franciscan Earth Corps

Young adults from St. Francis of Assisi parish in Milwaukee with Earth Corps program manager, Rhett Engelking (right). Vegetables from the organic garden are given to the St. Ben's Meal Program.
Lonnie Ellis OFS, (in the plaid shirt), working with young adults on a gardening project in Washington DC.

Spirituality. Eco-Justice. Community

The starting point for Franciscan Earth Corps is taking action. Pick a green project or charity, or join in the social and ecological justice work of Franciscan Action Network (FAN). Then connect the activity—whether it is community gardening, hiking, or advocating for justice—with spiritual reflection.

Currently chapters are active or forming in:

How does it work?

Activities in care for creation and spirituality are selected locally—for help check out our list of resources. Members are encouraged to join the Franciscan Climate Campaign and stay in touch with FAN staff member Rhett Engelking who can assist you in organizing a group and developing activities. 


Don’t live near one of these places?

Stay connected online and get in touch with Rhett Engelking, Program Manager for Franciscan Earth Corps, engelking@franciscanaction.org about starting a chapter or other ways to be involved.


Already have a group?

No problem. Combine it with Franciscan Earth Corps, use our resources, link up with our climate campaign, and stay connected through webcasts, retreats, and other events.


Want advice on spiritual practices?

We suggest:

  • Group reflection using themes from Franciscan spirituality. Care for Creation by Sr. Delio/Br. Warner/Ms. Wood is a great introduction and includes several spiritual practices.
  • Individual check-ins (“Highs & Lows”). This simple practice creates space for each person to be real—with themselves and with the group. Two or three minutes is a good suggested length for each person’s sharing.
  • Contemplative practice and silence. Centering prayer or lectio divina are two great practices rooted in Christian tradition.



Franciscan Action Network (FAN), a collective voice for justice made up of Franciscan orders, began building a national network of Franciscan-hearted young adults in the summer of 2012. The Corps is a collaborative effort of lay Franciscans—Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Ecumenical Franciscans—as well as Franciscan friars and sisters.

The first local Franciscan Earth Corps initiative was started in 2003 by Rob Breen, a Catholic Secular Franciscan and environmental educator, in upstate New York (beginning in Syracuse and later in Albany).