WASHINGTON — The Franciscan Action Network is supporting one of its key initiatives, climate change advocacy, by taking a leadership role in the People’s Climate March scheduled in New York City on Sept. 21.
FAN leaders are mobilizing with other faith groups to plan and coordinate ideas for next month’s event, according to its July 28 e-letter. Between 250,000 and 300,000 persons are expected to attend. FAN is one of 700 organizations co-sponsoring the march, said Patrick Carolan, executive director.
The advocacy organization encourages parishes, ministries and interested Franciscans to support the march by using resources on the march’s website, and on FAN’s Facebook page. The organization suggests Franciscans formally endorse the march, being held when heads of state are meeting in New York City for a summit on climate change.
“Faith communities lead by example. We encourage you to make a show of support by pledging to act in some way to address climate change as a way to demonstrate to our political leaders that we, too, can lead,” said a recent e-letter.
To raise awareness for this cause, ministries are encouraged to host a climate vigil or make climate change the theme of a homily.
Spreading the Word
March participants may contact FAN for information on low-cost lodging while in New York City, and also to coordinate a meeting place. “Faith groups are planning on gathering in one spot once the route is confirmed and announced. A step off time for the march has not been confirmed, but sources have told us it is most likely going to start around 11 a.m. or noon,” said FAN’s e-letter. “We are planning a prayer vigil for the morning of the march.”
“One of the most important ways to get involved is to help spread the word about the march to your networks,” said Carolan. Also, he said, those concerned about the environment can attend a workshop on climate change that FAN is holding on Sept. 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Province’s San Damiano Hall on West 31st Street in New York City.
Other initiatives of the Franciscan Action Network include:
- participation in the Franciscan Federation Conference last month in St. Louis. The gathering was attended by approximately 280 Franciscan Third Order members and associates.
- leading role in the recent National Migration Conference on the current border crisis. Sr. Marie Lucey, director of advocacy and member relations, participated in lobby visits at the Capitol.
- promotion of the 35th anniversary of the naming of St. Francis as the patron of ecology. The website, announced earlier this year in HNP Today, offers information about the saint and how the Nov. 29 anniversary can be commemorated.
FAN also encourages people to support recent legislative by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) that would regulate political spending. Called the Udall Amendment (S.J. Res. 19), the legislation would restore power to Congress to regulate political financing. FAN recommends readers call their local legislators, asking them to support the Udall Amendment. The toll-free number to call is 866-937-7983. FAN suggests that callers say: “I’m calling in support of S.J. Res. 19” and that they contact Jason Miller at FAN to let him know how the call went. Miller can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Wendy Healy is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and contributor to HNP Today. Research was provided by Jocelyn Thomas.