On Wednesday June 20, in the Loyola Institute, Trinity College, Dublin, many representatives from ecological groups in Ireland attended a presentation to hear about the World Meeting of Families 2018 ‘Our Common Home’ project.
This presentation, which I delivered with Dr Lorna Gold of Trócaire, offered an opportunity for those who campaign and work in this area to offer their insights and expertise. There was great excitement about our efforts to bring the Church’s teaching on the environment to a global audience as part of the World Meeting of Families 2018 and the possibilities that this offers in creating awareness of the ecological challenges we now face as families here in Ireland and around the world.
As we continue with our planning and preparations for the WMOF2018 we are now inviting everyone into a conversation about how we can all care for ‘Our Common Home’. This is in response to Pope Francis’ call to each one of us to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. In his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, on care for our common home, Pope Francis reminds us that it is the poor who suffer the most from environmental destruction. He urges each of us to think deeply about our relationship with nature, to live wisely and to love generously.
In the family too, we can rethink our habits of consumption and join in caring for the environment as our common home,” he reminded us in Amoris Laetitia.
In response to this call from Pope Francis, WMOF2018 is endeavouring to be as sustainable as possible.
Individuals and families attending WMOF2018 in August will be able to visit ‘Our Common Home’ eco-spaces and join in discussion, prayer and action in caring for our beautiful planet. Pilgrims will be invited to discover more about how we can care for our beautiful world and live more sustainable lives through eco-workshops for all ages.
Families will also be invited to visit the Our Common Home Laudato Si’ garden, the Eco Prayer Space and to meet some of our eco volunteers.
The ‘Our Common Home’ Project at WMOF2018 is being offered in partnership with the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Trócaire and Laudato Si’ Ireland. These organisations are working to encourage all of us to speak out on environmental issues which pose a serious threat to our planet.
Pope Francis poses a serious question in Laudato Si’: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (Laudato Si’ 160).
This is a question we must ask ourselves. As a global family, we need to act now and do much better in caring for our common home.
Humanity has an important task – to care for the beautiful planet on which we live. Yet our current way of living is not sustainable and environmental degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyles. It is time to enter a new and sustainable path.
The world must act on issues such as climate change which poses an undeniable risk to our common home. Pope Francis has described the Earth, our home, as “beginning to look like more and more like an immense pile of filth”. Yet he also says that all is not lost; humanity is capable of rising above great challenges, choosing again what is good.
Every step, big or small, plays a significant role in helping the environment.
In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis said: “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all…all of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (Laudato Si’, 14)
We are inviting you to use social media to share what you and your family are doing to care for our common home and to live more sustainable lives. Please use the hashtags #ourcommonhome and #wmof2018.
Jane Mellett is Project Co-ordinator of the Our Common Home Project, WMOF2018.
For more information on ‘Our Common Home’ project please contact Jane Mellett at the World Meeting of Families 2018: firstname.lastname@example.org