Catholics to Focus on Earth Day

HNP Communications Around the Province

NEW YORK — It’s no wonder that, with Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, friars from the Order founded by the patron saint of the environment are making strides to raise awareness about “green” initiatives.

Brian Jordan, OFM, alerted HNP Today of an article in the April issue of Catholic Digest.

The article highlights an upcoming initiative by The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change urging United States Catholics to pray and reflect on the duty to care for God’s creation and for the poor and vulnerable. A “Climate Covenant” and “St. Francis of Assisi Pledge to Protect Creation and the Poor” will be unveiled at on Earth Day as a means to unite Catholics concerned about climate change.

Russell Testa, director of the Proivince’s Office of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation, is part of the coordinating team for the St. Francis Pledge.

Felipe Vicente, OFM, of the Order’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in Rome, encouraged friends and friars to “Share what happens in most of our villages in Africa,” by turning off lights and participating in the third annual Earth Hour, which took place March 28.

According to World Wide Fund For Nature, nearly 4,000 towns and cities across 88 countries “visibly demonstrated their growing concern over climate change” by turning off their lights for one hour.

Earth hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for an hour. In 2008, the event grew to include such global landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colosseum, Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square standing in darkness.

Friars and their partners-in ministry who are observing this year’s Earth Day are encouraged to tell readers about their efforts by notifying HNP’s director of communications, Jocelyn Thomas, who plans to publish a roundup of programs held around the province in an upcoming issue of HNP Today.