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Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution April 16th, 2018
“Bring the whole human family together . . . for we know that things can change.”
(Laudato Si’, 13)
International Mother Earth Day or Earth Day, first observed in 1970 is the largest secular observance in the world. According to the United Nations, this observance ‘recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.’
This year’s theme, End Plastic Pollution, is to raise awareness about the exponential growth of plastics now threatening the survival of our planet and to get people involved in this effort.
All week you can find Climate Action activities by visiting the Faith Climate Action Week website.
Want to learn more about plastic waste? Read this article: Where does your plastic waste go?
Watch a video by the Catholic Climate Covenant Reducing Plastic Waste and Moving Beyond a Throwaway Culture
Read more about the issue and find more resources at these links:
Earth Day Reflection
Ours is a planet filled with wonder. It was only a few decades ago that for the first time in history, thanks to groundbreaking advances in technology, humans were able to view planet earth from space. In the eighties a spacecraft called Voyager captured an image of our solar system from 11,100,000,000 miles away, depicting it as a tiny grain of sand so tiny it was barely detectable. Yet there it was, that planet we call home, not only beautiful but filled with wonder, a home that provides all we need to live: oxygen, water, food, etc.
Looking at these images it is hard not to be moved with admiration, respect and amazement. It should make us feel privileged to inhabit this earthly place given to us by God. We now know there are not only trillions of planets in the universe but trillions of galaxies out there. Yet, as far as we know, not even one other is brimming with life like ours. This makes our home Mother Earth and us very unique and special.
What should our response be to such a gift from God, such a blessing? How are we to treat and care for our common home, for one another, and all living things that share this space? What comes to mind when we reflect on these questions? This: have we been mindful and grateful enough for the blessing of this beautiful home? On Earth Day 2018 let us experience, enjoy and thank God for Creation.
Upcoming Event: “Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home” April 11th, 2018
Reflection & Action on Laudato Si ‘
Saturday, April 21
9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Mary Evelyn Tucker, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Yale Divinity School
Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for students
To register call 618-394-6270 or go online: www.snows.org/events-2/our-sacred-earth-our-common-home
This event is the second in a series devoted to the study and implementation of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si’. Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, who collaborated for many years with eco-theologian and Earth scholar Fr. Thomas Berry, will deliver the keynote address. The participants will then take part in a series of “hands-on” break-out sessions. The morning will conclude with a feedback and takeaway session. This event is intended for individuals and parish groups looking for practical ways to care for our common home, our sacred Earth.
“Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home: Reflection and Action on Laudato Si” is sponsored by the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, La Vista Ecological Learning Center, the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
Have a blessed Easter! March 29th, 2018
Missionary Oblates Join Catholic Leaders Expressing Concern About Refugee Resettlement March 27th, 2018
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has joined the U.S. Catholic Bishops and Catholic Organizations in issuing a joint letter expressing deep concerns about historically low refugee resettlement to the United States during this time of global humanitarian need.
The letter by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Catholic Organizations and Religious leaders letter reads;
“We are deeply concerned about both the historically low target that the Administration has set for refugee admissions for Fiscal Year 2018, as well as by the extraordinarily low number of refugees that the United States is on pace to resettle during the current fiscal year. ”
“For 37 years, the U.S. has been a world leader in welcoming and resettling refugees, and the U.S. Catholic Church has been a committed partner in this work. As Christians, our concern for refugees is integral to our life of faith.”
The Provincial of the U.S. Missionary Oblates, Fr. Louis Studer, OMI, recommended Oblates sign on to the letter, also signed by 1600 Catholic organizations, women and men religious, and lay leaders. all concerned about the current state of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
March for Our Lives Event is this Saturday, March 24 March 22nd, 2018
As we approach the end of Lent, a time to reflect on the life of Jesus in light of our present-day issues, we join the entire country in prayer and reflection for victims of gun violence and urge tougher action on gun laws. The Parkland, Florida school shooting has ignited robust calls for action on the issue of gun violence. As an organization committed to justice and peace, U.S Missionary Oblates JPIC is united in one voice with our young people who are speaking out and rallying against the incidence of gun violence in their schools.
We are empowered by words from the 2016 Missionary Oblates Chapter in Rome: “In these times of great global changes, we respond to the call of the Spirit, as did St. Eugene De Mazenod: being close to the new faces of the poor, the most abandoned….”
Young people and adults concerned about gun violence will converge on Washington, DC this Saturday, March 24, to participate in the March for Our Lives Rally. They will stand in solidarity with victims and demand the appropriate steps are taken so children feel safe in their schools. The rally will begin at 12:00 pm ET on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd street and 12th street NW. Please find more information and RSVP here! Hundreds of sibling marches are also planned for other places in the U.S and the world. Click here to find an event near you.
The Franciscan Action Network and other Catholic groups are planning a candlelight vigil at the U.S. Capitol to witness against gun violence. The vigil will be from 6:30-8:30 pm on Friday, March 23. On Saturday, March 24 they will gather at 11 am outside St Patrick’s Church (619 10th St NW, Washington, DC) and walk with other people of faith to the start of the March at 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
For more information visit the March’s official page.
Can’t participate in one of the rallies? Sign the petition to protect and save our children.
2018 Lenten Resources February 13th, 2018
“I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer.” Pope Francis, 2018 Lenten Message
Lent 2018 runs from February 14 (Ash Wednesday) and ends on Holy Thursday (March 29). In the Catholic tradition, we are asked to observe the three traditional pillars of Lent during this time: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
OMI JPIC has compiled a few useful resources to support your Lenten practice.
- Read Pope Francis’ Lent 2018 Message
“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold”: English | Spanish
- Interreligious Working Group on Extractive Industries: Worship Aid for Lent 2018 and online Lenten Calendar
- Written by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, Daily Reflections for Lent
- Pax Christi’s e-booklet of reflections for Lent 2018: Go Forth & Live in Peace (cost $3.75)
- US Conference of Cath0lic Bishops: Online Lenten Calendar 2018
- Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns’ Lenten Reflection Guide: Forty Days with Scripture and Laudato Si’