Catholics are praying and acting to protect creation. We invite you to look back at accomplishments and challenges of August and September, and to take action today to drive progress forward.
Pray for Climate Pilgrims
Climate Pilgrims have begun their 1500-kilometer journey to Poland, and they are carrying prayer ribbons with prayers from around the the world. Pilgrims will deliver prayers to UN leaders. Send your prayer for the pilgrims and their mission.
- Catholic Bishops Call for Climate Action
Catholic church leaders released a powerful statement urging government leaders to take “ambitious and urgent” action against climate change. The statement was released on 26 October and was signed by six bishops of the Catholic continental conferences, with the support of GCCM, CIDSE, and Caritas Internationalis. Watch the highlight video here.
- Season of Creation Embraced by the Church
The Season of Creation was celebrated in 680 events in nearly 70 countries, with events held for the first time in the Caribbean, the Middle East, South Sudan, and Myanmar. Church leaders offered new support for the Season, including a high-level joint statement signed by Cardinal Turkson and other prominent church leaders, and an ecumenical prayer service in Assisi with leaders from across the ecumenical spectrum. Watch a wrap-up video for the season here.
- Climate Pilgrimage Begins!
The Climate Pilgrimage is now in motion! Pilgrims are walking 1,500 kilometers (about 950 miles) through snow and cold from the Vatican to the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Write a prayer for the pilgrims and their mission here, and it will be written on a ribbon and carried in backpacks to the climate talks, where it will be given to a UN leader. Photos and stories from the Climate Pilgrimage are shared almost daily. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, or search the hashtag #TheClimatePilgrimage.
- Divestment Grows
As part of the Season of Creation, 19 new institutions made a commitment to divest from dirty fossil fuels. Among these were Caritas India, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and the Archdioceses of Palermo and Vercelli and Suva, Fiji. The joint announcement was made at the Global Climate Action Summit. A moving op-ed by Archbishop Peter Chong on his decision to divest is here.
World Meeting of Families Shares Love for Creation
Care for creation was embraced at the World Meeting of Families, which was convened in August in Dublin. See this blog post for photos and more details.
- Catholic Climate Covenant made a presentation at GCAS this September, highlighting the commitment of the US Catholic church to support the goals of the Paris Agreement. Through the “We Are Still In” campaign, over 784 Catholic institutions have united behind one declaration to care for our common home.
- Trócaire organized a pan-African agroecology workshop in Kenya to share sustainable farming methods with local communities.
- CIDSE published a new report that explores how we can limit rise in global temperatures through “a deep and rapid shift in our food and energy systems, supported by structural lifestyle changes.”
- CAFOD is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act by calling on MP’s to set a net-zero emissions target before 2050. Residents are invited to send letters to their representatives.
- Caritas Philippines is bringing renewable energy to poor communities in the Diocese of Sorsogon. Read more about the project here.
- W.L. Patenaude released a science fiction book, A Printer’s Choice, to explore the role of Catholic teaching in environmental and social crises. Read an interview with the author here.
- In India, an unusually heavy monsoon caused flooding and landslides that killed 324 people and drove 200,000 people from their homes. Caritas India is on the forefront of the crisis, delivering aid to those affected and providing Child-Friendly Spaces to support the emotional recovery of children affected by floods.
Catholic leaders including the Sisters of Mercy collaborated with Buddhist leaders in the United States to propose green affordable housing for communities in need. The proposals were presented to Pope Francis in September and are being reviewed.
- Hurricane Michael damaged over 2,500 structures and left nearly 160,000 residents without electricity for over a week. This widespread devastation has prompted a conversation about how to update the national power grid in the United States as climate change is expected to drive stronger storms.
- The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the European Investment Bank launched the Global Climate City Challenge to increase sustainability and resilience among cities vulnerable to climate change.
- A new study reveals that climate change is leading to rapid decline among insect populations in the tropics, which could lead to a catastrophic ripple effect in the global ecosystem.
- Bill Gates, former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva have formed a coalition to help people adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Scottish Power has completely shifted from coal and gas generation with the sale of its last remaining gas plant.
Hurricane Mangkhut (AKA Ompong) caused at least 42 landslides and claimed three lives in the Philippines.
Laudato Si’ Animator of the Month
Sulman del Pilar Hincapié Rojas of Medellín, Colombia, is a Lauduato Si’ Animator. Sulman says that being an Animator “is the closest, most real and committed way of responding to and helping Pope Francis’ call for care of our Common Home. Especially, because it is my response to the Gospel of Jesus, who lived in harmony with creation.”
Sulman recently organized the very first GCCM meeting in Medellín. The event brought together representatives from different sectors and provided an opportunity for collaborative thinking, reflection, and increased awareness of the importance of caring for our common home. She sees the need to educate others about the realities of climate change and the need for our response, especially because it affects all of humanity. Sulman is excited about providing spaces for her community to reflect, unite, and contribute to the solution to the climate crisis, as called upon by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.
GCCM at COP24
GCCM will help bring the Catholic message on climate change to the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland this December. We’ll share details in the coming weeks.
Resources for Advent
Advent resources for prayer and spirituality will be available soon. Let’s continue the journey together towards a deeper love for God’s gift of creation.
Care for Creation at World Youth Day
Plans are underway to share the message of care for creation at World Youth Day 2019 in Panama next January. Sustainability stations and Laudato Si’ prayer services will be integrated throughout the event. Youth Laudato Si’ Animators will be trained. Click here to register as a volunteer.
From “May It Please You”
From Catholic Relief Services
Make us worthy of this earth:
in what we sow and what we reap,
in what we plant and what we prune.
So that when that last harvest comes,
When we are called to stand before you,
It may once more be said of this people:
“He saw that it was good.”
Global Catholic Climate Movement · United States