Held annually on 22nd April since 1970, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. Our Congregation plays our part with an international committee focused on the Care of the Earth. Each area of the Congregation is represented, and the committee is led by Sr Geraldine Hamukale. The mission of ‘Care of the Earth’ is not only to promote caring for the earth within the Congregation, but to also enable Sisters within our Congregation to promote good environmental education in the different countries in which we live.
The work of the Care of the Earth committee is influenced by Pope Francis’ second encyclical, Laudato Si’ (2015), which calls on people of the world to take “swift and united global action” to “care for our common home.” A landmark documentary entitled “The Letter: A Message for Our Earth” brings Pope Francis’ landmark ecology document to life and is available to view on YouTube. Produced over four years, the documentary follows five environmentalists as they travel to meet Pope Francis to discuss Laudato Si’ and the growing global threats of climate change and rapid biodiversity loss.
A joint publication by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Stockholm Environment Institute may also be of interest to people as we respond to the climate crisis. The guide is available here and provides an overview of seven key topics in a straightforward, scientific manner:
• Air pollution
• Food production
• Sustainable consumption
• Environmental and social justice
What actions can you personally take this Earth Day? Here are some simple changes that you can incorporate into your routine:
• Join a community clean up – of beach, river bank, park
• Use reusable cups and cutlery, bringing them with you to avoid using single-use utensils
• Always carry a reusable bag
• Make your next meal plant-based
• Buy local food with a lower carbon footprint
• Practice sustainable fashion
Take action to help the environment on Earth Day and every day.
Join us in a prayer for our earth:
A Prayer for Our Earth
Encyclical: Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home Pope Francis
All powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.