2017 Seacology Prize Recipient: Gina Lopez (Philippines)

GINA LOPEZ·THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017

In recognition of her untiring environmental advocacy in the face of powerful opposition, Regina Paz (Gina) Lopez of the Philippines has been awarded the 2017 Seacology Prize. Seacology awards the $10,000 prize, now in its 27th year, to someone who has shown exceptional achievement in preserving island environments and culture.

“Gina Lopez has shown the vision and courage the Seacology Prize is meant to honor,” said Seacology’s executive director, Duane Silverstein. “She has fought for the Philippines environment and to give island communities there a voice in the decisions that affect their natural resources and their lives.”

For more than 15 years, Ms. Lopez has been an outspoken champion of social and environmental causes in the Philippines. When she spearheaded the rehabilitation of the badly polluted Pasig River and nearby urban streams, she was named to chair the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. Her efforts there led to the cleanup of at least 17 tributaries in the Pasig river system.

She also led a campaign to save La Mesa Watershed, a once-neglected area that contains the last remaining rainforest of its size in Metro Manila, as well as the reservoir from which 12 million people get their drinking water. It is now La Mesa Ecopark, a tree-lined park where urban dwellers can hike, fish, and ride mountain bikes or horses.

As a leader of the Save Palawan Island movement, Ms. Lopez lobbied against the environmental ravages of mining on Philippine islands. Her stance drew angry criticism from the powerful mining industry.

That criticism intensified in 2016, when Ms. Lopez became acting secretary of the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). She established the first-ever forums for consultations between the DENR and indigenous groups, and shut down illegal fish pens in the country’s largest lake. But her strongest actions were directed squarely at mining operations, especially heavily polluting nickel mines. She banned open-pit mines and moved to shut down more than half of the operations of the country’s mining companies.

These bold actions cost Ms. Lopez her job. In May 2017, the members of a congressional commission on appointments—some of whom had ties to the mining industry—voted her out. But inside government or out, she has vowed to keep fighting. She has already started I LOVE (Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies), to lift Filipinos out of poverty by building green businesses at the grassroots level.

“I am honored to receive an award for something I believe in and from an organization doing so much for island ecosystems,” said Ms. Lopez.

“The Philippines is a country of 7,000 islands, and I hope this award will affect the entire country. And because the Philippines has so many diverse ecosystems, and so many animals and plants that occur nowhere else, saving our islands has direct global impact as well.”

This year’s Seacology Prize Ceremony, honoring Gina Lopez, will be held tonight, October 5, at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation of the award and a presentation about Seacology’s current projects. If you’d like to attend, please use the form below, sign up on Eventbrite, or call 510.559.3505.

Original Press Release: https://www.seacology.org/uncategor…

 

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Prague international conference to end the immigration detention of children

 

”The cost of alternatives is much lower than that of migration detention. In addition, alternatives are  less dangerous than detention; for the children themselves, in terms of the harm that deprivation of liberty inevitably causes.  They are also less dangerous for our societies; the message they deliver is about containing intolerance; about decreasing social tension; and ultimately about preserving the integrity and credibility of our institutions, our belief in human rights and the rule of law, our democratic values”, said the Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe, Christos Giakoumopoulos.

The international conference Immigration Detention of Children: Coming to a Close?  was organised in Prague on 25 and 26 September 2017 by the Czech chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.

It brought together leading human-rights experts, officials from member states and civil society representatives who discussed international standards, good practices and findings from the field, in order to identify ways of promoting alternatives to the migration detention of children. The themes explored included the vulnerability of migrant children and the huge psychological impact that detention has on them. The opening panel on experiences from the ground included Pinar Aksu, who sought asylum in the United Kingdom as a child and who contributed a first-hand account of the effects of migration detention.

On the final panel, the Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, Tomáš Boček, stressed ” the need for an alliance of actors that will push for change, including enlightened government leaders who will take the lead at European level, parliamentarians engaging in campaigns like that of PACE, lawyers prepared to  initiate strategic litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, committed NGOs, and, most importantly, state officials, civil servants and advisors, who will be convinced themselves of the need to limit the migration detention of children”.

The conference is the first concrete step towards the implementation of the recently adopted Council of Europe Action Plan in Protecting Migrant and Refugee children.

The conference was opened by Czech Minister of Justice Robert Pelikán and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks delivered a keynote speech.

http://www.coe.int/en/web/special-representative-secretary-general-migration-refugees/-/prague-international-conference-on-how-to-end-immigration-detention-of-childr-1http://www.coe.int/en/web/special-representative-secretary-general-migration-refugees/homemigrants-lesbos_3429322b

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E-NEWS September 2017

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We remember in our prayers the people of Mexico who have suffered a terrible earthquake which has claimed about 250 dead and many others injured. Remember also the people of Puerto Rico and Domenican Republic who have suffered damages from Hurricane Maria. Let us pray for hope and faith as the country goes through a difficult moment.

Pope Francis’ prayer intention: Let us continue to pray with the Holy Father that our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.https://thepopevideo.org/

The Season of Creation September 1 to October 4. Resource materials continue to be posted on  http://seasonofcreation.org/. Also consider the Laudato Si Pledge. http://livelaudatosi.org/

 

26 September International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Read Pope Francis’ message to the “United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination,” at http://en.radiovaticana.va/news.

SAVE THE DATES:

11 October: Sr. Dorothy Ezeh of the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Love in Enugu, Nigeria will be discussing her newly released book Human Trafficking and Prostitution. In June, Sr. Dorothy had presented some of her studies to the Anti-Trafficking Working. They found her research and conclusions to be insightful and very interesting.  The Chargé d’ Affaires of Nigeria Stephen Anthony Awuuru will also be present. The event will take place at the USMI – Via Zanardelli, 36. The invitation is available on the Talitha Kum website. The presentation will be in Italian with English translation.

15-18 November—JPIC Promoters Formation Workshop with the theme “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace”. At Casa per Ferie Enrico De Osso, Via Val Cannuta 134 Roma. The four-day workshop provides new JPIC Promoters with the tools needed to animate members of their congregation. Others engaged in JPIC-related ministries are welcome to attend the full workshop or individual sessions. The workshop is in both English and Spanish. For registration and the flyer, please go to

http://www.jpicroma.org/jpic-promoters-workshop

Starting November 9 Joint Diploma in Ecologia Integrale a partire dalla LaudatoSi. Many of our Catholic Universities are collaborating on this wonderful effort. Elementary knowledge of Italian should suffice.For more information contact Prof. Joshtrom Jureethadam joshtrom@unisal.it

Starting November 13 Pastoral care of Humanitarian Aid Workers sponsored by the Camillianum International Pastoral Care Theology. The aim of the course is to train humanitarian care workers in light of Pope Francis call for care and concern for suffering humanity. Course in English only. For more information, segreteria@camillianum.it  and www.camillianum.it

 

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The Order of Servants of Mary in the Era of Globalization

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Introduction

 

The events that have transpired in the last three decades have tremendously effected a radical change and influenced the flow of our human history. It is indeed a tapestry of evolving civilizations and conditions interwoven in unprecedented manner within the sphere of human experiences.

We are living in an era of globalization. It is a product of interaction and integration among the people, businesses, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade, free market and investment and aided by information technology. Many have been overtaken by surprise, fear and awe as this global phenomenon unfolds.

What are the impact and future implications of living in a globalized economic system? Why is there global inequality and is it getting worse? What is the role of the internet/communication/technology in globalization? How is globalization affecting the world? How is globalization affecting culture? What are the environmental impacts of globalization? Are we moving towards a more dehumanized society? Are there alternatives to Globalization? These are some of the frequently asked questions by the various sectors of society.

As Servants of Mary we echo the same concern and apprehension. We seek for illumination and ways of understanding this phenomenon. We search, reflect and study its implications on our life as consecrated persons and as lay members of the Servite family. This short article does not pretend to offer the whole picture of this evolving global process. Rather it aims to provide a source for further discussion and reflection in our communities and groups.

The World Arena

The forces of change brought about by globalization are unrelenting and continue to accelerate modern society toward an uncertain world where the latest marvels of human ingenuity will co-exist with previously unreached depths of depravity. It has ushered us into a more increasingly globalized humanity faced with climate change, dwindling resources, overpopulation, migration problem and technological upheaval.  It is important to understand this current phenomenon and eventually study its adverse effects in the lives of peoples and communities.

The first one is on food security. The obvious reason is that everybody needs food. But the complexity of delivering sufficient food to a national population and to the whole world’s population shows why food security is such a priority for all countries, whether developing or developed. In short, this is a global challenge because it’s not just about food and feeding people but also about practically all aspects of an economy and society.

Second is, Climate Change. We are already seeing and feeling the impacts of climate change with weather events such as droughts and storms becoming more frequent and intense, changing rainfall patterns, glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner. In his remarks to the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, Pope Francis blamed environmental degradation on “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity” that causes untold suffering for the poor who “are cast off by society.” He further stated that, “The ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.”

Third, the global financial crisis revealed significant weaknesses in the financial system and some of the vulnerabilities that can result from having such an interconnected global market. The Great Recession hit many developed economies in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. After a year the great recession was declared to come to its end, but many could still feel its ill-effects even up to this current time. In fact, several years after the crisis, the world economy is still struggling with slow growth, unconventional monetary policy in major economies, and constrained government budgets.

Fourth, there is massive forced migration. International migration has become a reality that touches almost every corner of the globe. The least expensive modern means of transport has made it easier and faster for people to move. A complex of factors such as civil conflicts, human rights abuse, extreme poverty, and misguided development schemes have produced in many countries around the world an unprecedented number of migrant workers and people looking for jobs beyond their national borders. Migration is changing the face of the world as the majority of the world’s population now lives in large conurbations that have created a pluralization of societies never before seen on such a scale. A collateral effect of migration is the proliferation of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world.
Fifth, the push for economic growth in recent decades has led to substantial increases in wealth for large numbers of people across the globe. But despite huge gains in global economic output, there is evidence that our current social, political and economic systems are exacerbating inequalities, rather than reducing them. The erratic patterns of global capitalism are increasing patterns of inequality in many parts of the world.

Sixth, the communication technologies are changing the way we live, work, produce and consume. Some sectors are saying that we are entering the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a technological transformation driven by a ubiquitous and mobile internet.

The Perspective of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is no stranger to globalization in a certain sense. The Church’s mission from the beginning has been to spread the Good News to every corner of the earth. In the course of pursuing that mission for 2,000 years, she has time and again confronted challenges posed by transformations of culture as well as by cultural differences. These great transformations in the history of the Church are seen as evolving phases rather than culminations.

Globalization seems to be spreading a thin transnational culture that is not only resistant to ethical perspectives, but inimical to respect for the dignity of all members of the human family. The Catholic social tradition is one in which the faithful are obliged to be active in working for justice, freedom, respect for the dignity of the person, the common good, and peace. Pope John Paul II has counseled and modeled a cautiously hopeful view of globalization. Provided that the principle of common humanity is recognized, he said in his World Day of Peace Message in 2000, “this recognition can give the world as it is today — marked by the process of globalization — a soul, a meaning and a direction. Globalization, for all its risks, also offers exceptional and promising opportunities, precisely with a view to enabling humanity to become a single family, built on the values of justice, equity and solidarity.”

Pope Francis in his recent address to the Roman Roundtable of Global Foundation on January 14, 2017 called for a more fraternal and cooperative globalization as opposed to the globalization of indifference.  This means that we need to take a second look, trying to understand the concepts of human dignity and human rights and our responsibility to one another, and to find solutions that are constructive going forward.

As the global community, developed and envisioned the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, Pope Francis reiterated the importance of respecting human dignity – the lack of concern for persons is a sign of regression and dehumanization in any political or economic system. The Church reminds the world of the globality of human nature and of the need for a universal solidarity between all peoples. Christian solidarity consists in making ourselves responsible for the welfare of others. It is more than compassion or sentiments, as it calls for a full reciprocity in human relationships.

The Challenges of Globalization to the Consecrated Life

Undoubtedly, the current world arena greatly influences the faith-life and witnessing of Christian faith. Globalization affects our daily lives in all aspects. Seemingly, the dynamics involved could not be fully understood, because it is developing and evolving, a process whose outcome is still unclear.

An important sector of the Church, the consecrated life has been affected positively and negatively  by this phenomenon, provoking  a critical situation that has been evident in the recent decades:   radical shifts in demographics, economic problems stemming from the global financial crisis, restructuring of presences, understanding the mission in the contemporary times, the weakening of fraternal and the spiritual life, issues of internationalization, the threats posed by relativism and a sense of isolation and social irrelevance, together with the preoccupation over an uncertain future among others. Are we living in a time of upheaval that will call forth new forms of consecrated life even as current institutes either radically reconstitute themselves or disappear altogether?

History would teach us that despite the challenges of the changing times, the religious institutes of men and women in the Catholic Church have often emerged at times of upheaval or profound social change. The eremitic and monastic movements of the fourth century began in Syria and Egypt in response to Christianity no longer a persecuted minority in the Roman Empire, but now the default religious position of the majority. Monasticism in the West both guarded a classical heritage and was the seedbed of a missionary movement that evangelized northern Europe and beyond. The rise of the mendicant orders in the thirteenth century was a response to the rebirth of the cities in medieval Europe and to new institutions such as the universities. The apostolic orders of the early modern period and then again at the time of the Industrial Revolution and the expansionist policies of imperial Europe in the nineteenth century, addressed social needs that had been exacerbated by urbanization, industrialization and colonialism.

 

From the many current studies and  researches  made on the consecrated life, one could conclude that the  present form—structures, organization, work methods, lifestyle—does not respond adequately to the needs and challenges of a society that is changed and is changing radically and is shaped by modern information and communication technologies. As consecrated men and women of our time, the change in an era is leading us to a new paradigm, shifting gears in order to seek for new way of being in the Church and in the world.

The Order of Servants of Mary:  A Paradigm Shift

In the last three decades, the Order developed and evolved in an unprecedented manner with new openings in Asia and Africa and at the same time attempts of re-foundation of the Order were made in the east European bloc. With the recent developments in the Order, the newer foundations are looking for expansions and collaboration with the older jurisdictions. The presence of multi-cultural communities is making itself more evident in these past years. Many vocations coming in from countries where we are not present, is a current phenomenon. Formation work is becoming more complex and demanding, from cross-cultural and inter-generational perspectives.

These new developments are challenging our common vocation as Servites in the aspects of evangelization, Servite spirituality, cross-cultural integration, community life, vocations, formation, witnessing and ministry in the present history. We have to discern and evaluate this new and emerging reality in order to respond to the needs of the times.

A Call to a Renewed Consecrated Life

Globalization demands of us new competencies that are able to face new complexities, but at the core, our mission is still the same: to proclaim Christ to the world and to reach out to those who find themselves at the margins and peripheries of life.

We have to go back at the core of our “sequela Christi”. We have to proclaim Jesus, the Incarnate Word especially in this crucial moment of our history. By His gratuitous act of love, our spiritual lives must bring us to be in touch intimately with our own humanity. We have to feel anew that love affair we had and still have with our Savior. As Christians and consecrated persons we must be passionate about Christ and transmit the same passion to everyone. The Gospel should not only be proclaimed to others, it should serve as our mirror as we continue to tread along the many and diverse crossroads in life.

Listening to His Word must lead us to respond to the plight of brothers and sisters. It is not enough to read it; it is not enough to meditate. Jesus asks us to implement it, to live his words. While globalization and technological developments have given us more and more control over the external world, they have given us little grasp of the inner world of the human person and the ultimate questions of human existence. It has somehow blinded us to see the suffering reality of our people.

We have to go back to the very core of our vocation and be able to read the signs of the times and creatively interpret our servite charism. The new call urges us to go to the existential peripheries of life where the marginalized, the hopeless, migrants, refugees, abandoned, sick and elderly, and desperate young people are waiting. Our life is above all a life of radical self-giving in service to others even in the midst of ingratitude, misunderstanding, and rejection and downright evil.

We may ask ourselves: am I anxious for God, anxious to proclaim him, to make him known? How passionate am I for Christ and for humanity? Do I have the same passion for our people; am I close to them to the point of sharing in their joys and sorrows, thus truly understanding their needs and helping to respond to them?

New Vocations

One important aspect of consecrated life is vocation. While there is abundance of vocations coming from the southern hemisphere of the world, the prospect of new vocations seems to be gloomy in the western jurisdictions of the Order. Despite this contrasting vocation reality, it is imperative that we continue to promote Servite vocation.  In order to develop effective vocation programs, every vocation director or directress, or every Servite in particular, must be familiar with the reality of the young people of today.

When we speak of the young people of today, we are dealing with the so-called Generation Y (the Millennial) and the Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennial, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation).  The Generation Y is the generation of children born between 1982 and 2002, some 81 million children who have taken over K-12, have already entered college and the workforce. It is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. On the other hand, the Generation Z is the demographic cohort following the Millennial. Demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years that range from the mid-1990s to early 2000. A significant aspect of this generation is the widespread usage of the Internet from a young age. They are typically thought of as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socializing.

Both generations live in two parallel worlds. Their lives are interwoven both in the real and virtual world. The knowledge of reality passes almost exclusively through the mediation of social media. For many young people the virtual world is a place where you feel the security and the freedom to express themselves without fear of being judged.

Vocations today, in addition to the initiative of God, arise as a result of a new cultural mediation deeply that let glimpse the youth of today. This digital world, also called the sixth continent that favors the new anthropologies and ways of thinking.

Am I ready to go out from my comfort zone to be with the young people of today? How prepared am I to meet this generation in the digital world they call their new “home.”

Collaborative Ministry

Faced with the challenge of providing services to people, the enormous task of maintaining huge structures and with fewer members, many religious institutes find themselves in this desperate situation. Many are abandoning their ministries, closing communities and selling their properties.  Pope Francis reminds that we should open ourselves to a new religious life style that is inclusive – ad-intra e ad-extra, a kind of “networking” where communion and the encounter between different communities, institutes, charisms and vocation becomes a journey of hope. No one builds the future by isolating themselves. The present situation of every religious institute calls for communion that is always open to encounter, dialogue, listening, and mutual aid. In this endeavor we must not forget the important role of our lay groups who, with consecrated persons, share the same ideal, spirit, and mission.

Collaborative ministry is not new in the Order. We have had experience of collaborative effort in various aspects among the various members of the Servite Family. Even in the present times cooperation inside the family is visible in some regions of world. We have to encourage and foster this significant value in order to foster and deepen our fraternal spirit.

Do you find this “time” an opportune occasion for us to step out more courageously from the confines of our respective Institutes and to work together, at the local and global levels, on projects involving formation, evangelization, and social action? As a family, which area are we willing to collaborate and promote a common endeavor? What does lay active participation and involvement means to me?

The Challenge of the Multicultural and Extraterritorial Communities

In the early eighties, Italian congregations began their work of recruitment of new vocations from Asia and Africa. Many young people came to have their initial formation in Italy and eventually some of them stayed to do their mission work in Italy and other countries. With the end of communism in the Eastern Europe, a new wave of vocations was coming from this bloc and as a result there have been efforts of re-foundations and new openings among some religious institutes. One thing that is happening now is the fact that we are living through such a time of contraction as has happened at different times in the past, as religious institutes merge their provinces, and smaller institutes merge together into new entities.

 

In the recent years with decreasing number of vocations in Europe, North America and opening of new mission territories, there seems to be a trend of calling confreres and sisters from other jurisdictions to help out in continuing the congregation’s mission. Religious communities, which have become more multicultural from the point of view of ethnicity and culture, demand that superiors and all the members of these communities become sensitive to this new reality. Nevertheless, while this constitutes a challenge to religious life, it is good to affirm the fact that we are not dealing with something that is impossible. Those in leadership are constantly faced with a challenge of animating communities towards a socio-cultural, relational, ecclesial integration among its members. Another reality that is in parallel is the so-called extraterritorial communities (communities (friars/sisters) of the same ethnic group operating in a foreign jurisdiction/territory). There is an urgent need to address the current situation by creating venues for an open dialogue, community sessions, reflections and discussions of the past and present experiences. A periodic evaluation has to be conducted in order to monitor the problems, processes and progress of mutual integration and eventually develop manuals and guidelines to facilitate the creation and implementation of similar projects in the future.

 

Are we open, sensitive and willing to understand the richness and the values of culture, as well as respect the cultural characteristics of the brothers and sisters who form part of our communities? Are we ready to dialogue, confront and exchange our present experiences?

 

 

Conclusion and Recommendations

We are called to engage in dialogue and to seek resolutions and solutions in order to respond the challenging issues of the times. We are called to analyze these new experiences and ways of thinking in order to arrive at new ways of living and acting. Every Servite, therefore, must be equipped with a capacity for dialogue, acquire the ability to speak the language of his contemporaries and assimilate the riches of diverse cultural and religious thought. (cf OSM Const 107)

In our ardent desire towards a paradigm shift, I would like to recommend the working method proposed by the Church. In Mater et Magistra Pope John XXIII affirms the process of See, Judge, Act as a way of reading and responding to the signs of the time:

Seeing, hearing, and experiencing the lived reality of individuals and communities. Naming what is happening that causes you concern and examining carefully and intentionally the primary data of the situation. What are the people in this situation doing, feeling, and saying? What is happening to them and how do you/they respond? What do you know about this issue or what did you observe? What specific facts can you cite about this issue or experience? What did you learn or observe? How do you feel in the face of this issue or experience? How does it touch you personally? Therefore, there is a need to be connected – to be personally connected with one’s reality around him.

To Judge is to analyze the situation and make an informed judgment about it. Judging involves Social Analysis and Theological reflection. Social analysis helps us to obtain a more complete picture of the social situation by exploring its historical and structural relationships. Why does this situation exist? What are the root causes? Theological Reflection explores the experience and its deeper analysis, in dialogue with the religious tradition. What Scripture passages can help us to interpret this experience? How do biblical values us to see this reality in a different way? What does Catholic social teaching say about this issue? What key principles from Catholic social teaching apply to this situation?

And lastly, what action needs to be taken to change the situation? To address root causes? How would you transform the structures and relationships that produce this situation? How can you act to empower those who are disadvantaged in this situation? How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your action?

We can live life as chronos by doing all the things we must do each day. Or we can live life as kairos, by looking for meaning among the circumstances of our day.

This is the time for innovation.

This is the favorable time to begin anew with zeal and enthusiasm.

This is the propitious time to make a leap of faith.

This is the right to time to decide for a better future.

This is the opportune time to act together.

 

Fr. Rhett M. Sarabia, OSM

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Reconnecting you to nature

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It is established by UN in 1972. The same year UN Environment Programme (UNEP) was also established. In 1974 the first WED was held with the theme “Only One Earth”. From 1987 different countries host the event. This year Canada hosts the day with the theme Connecting people to Nature. WED is an opportunity to realize our responsibility for caring the nature.

On 5 June, go outside and show us that you’re #WithNature. Breathe in the beauty and remember that by keeping our planet healthy, we keep ourselves healthy too.

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The Global Catholic Climate Movement

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Wednesday, May 10th 2017 – Nine Catholic organizations from around the world have today announced their decision to divest their portfolios from coal, oil and gas companies in the largest joint Catholic fossil fuel divestment to date.

 

The groups – including religious orders and dioceses from the UK, USA and Italy – made the announcement ahead of international negotiationsthis month on implementing measures in the Paris Agreement on climate change. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are the main cause of the greenhouse gas emissions which are changing the climate and pushing people in the world’s poorest communities deeper into poverty. Globally, 2016 was the hottest year since records began, a title that 2015 and 2014 had both held before it.

 

The announcement is also significant in the number of different Catholic orders – including Jesuits and Franciscans – uniting once again behind this issue, which is gaining growing support at all levels of the Catholic Church. The news comes off the back of a January conference – attended by Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery of Integrated Human Development and one of the Pope’s closest advisors on environmental issues, as well as former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres – on the subject of investing according to the principles laid out in Laudato Si’.

 

The Italian Jesuits are now the second national Jesuit group to have divested and thus heeded the call to care for creation of their fellow Jesuit Pope Francis. The Siloe Monastic Community is the first Catholic monastic community in the world to divest. The Diocese of Pescara becomes the second diocese to have divested to date, while the Diocese of Bologna together with the Italian Bishops Conference and the Catholic NGO coalition FOCSIV will promote divestment issues during a conference on June 8th in the presence of the Italian environment minister Gian Luca Galletti two days before he heads to the G7 environment ministers meeting in Rome. The previous record for number of Catholic institutions divesting jointly was seven and was set in October 2016. A total of 27 Catholic institutions have now divested.

 

The announcement comes just under a month before the second anniversary of Pope Francis’s June 2015 Encyclical letter Laudato Si’, which called on Catholics and non-Catholics alike to care for our common home. With some of the world’s most powerful leaders meeting for the G7 Summit in Sicily from May 26-27 to discuss the biggest threats to global stability, and with almost 200 countries meeting in Bonn from May 8-18 for UNFCCC negotiations to add the important technical details to the framework of the Paris Agreement, the divestment also sends a powerful signal of the momentum behind and popular support for ambitious action on climate change.

 

This latest announcement also comes in the middle of the week-long Global Divestment Mobilization organized by climate change NGO 350.org, as part of which thousands worldwide are taking action to push cities, universities, churches, pension funds, museums and other institutions to demonstrate climate leadership by breaking their financial ties to fossil fuel companies.

 

For general media enquiries, please contact:

 

Cecilia Dall’Oglio (based in Rome, Italy);

European Programs Coordinator, Global Catholic Climate Movement;

Email: cecilia@catholicclimatemovement.global; Mobile: +39 3331271680

 

For Italian media enquiries, please contact:

 

Marta Francescangeli;

Ufficiostampa FOCSIV – Volontarinelmondo;

Email: comunicazione@focsiv.it; Mobile: +39 3384731082; Landline: +39 06 6877867

 

For US media enquiries, please contact:

 

Christina Leano;

Associate Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement;

Email; christina@catholicclimatemovement.global; Mobile: +1-786-459-5667

 

 

ANNEXES:

 

List of divesting institutions

 

The institutions divesting are:

 

  1. The Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit (Global, General Curia);
  2. The Diocese of Pescara (Italy);
  3. Il Dialogo (Italy);
  4. The Italian Jesuits (Italy);
  5. Rete InterdiocesanaNuoviStili di Vita (Italy);
  6. Siloe Monastic Community (Italy);
  7. MGR Foundation (USA);
  8. The Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (USA);
  9. St Joseph’s Province of the Congregation of the Passion – English Province of the Passionists (UK).

 

Quotes and background on individual divestment decisions

 

“The Catholic response to climate change is gathering momentum exponentially. From refusing to invest in fossil fuels to installing solar panels on church roofs, more and more Catholics are taking concrete actions to protect creation and the vulnerable in their communities and beyond. This momentum is something that should not go unnoticed by world leaders meeting for the G7 Summit before they return home to turn politics to policy.”

 

Tomas Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement.

 

“We are extremely concerned that the G7 Summit will not make any official climate commitment, only adopting less ambitious objectives than those of Paris and preventing the US withdraw. In the face of this political impasse, several Catholic organizations are committed in the name of Laudato Si’ to promoting social and climate justice through concrete fossil fuel divestment declarations. We hope that this action will be a call to international leaders to engage in fighting climate change and, at the same time, a support to the G7 Italian presidency in continuing its work on prioritizing the climate issue on the agenda of the summit. FOCSIV, together with the Diocese of Bologna and the Italian Episcopal Conference, will further involve dioceses to both disinvestment and reinvestment in clean energy for the promotion of universal energy access on the occasion of the G7 Environment in Bologna, with Mons Zuppi and the Italian Minister Galletti”

 

Gianfranco Cattai, President, FOCSIV (Italy)

 

“The diversity and global distribution of the organizations taking part in this joint announcement show the leadership of the Catholic communities in taking concrete action in response to the repeated calls of Pope Francis to preserve our common home. We celebrate this announcement and hope that the message it conveys reaches people of all faiths and inspires even more Catholic institutions, including the Vatican itself, to end the harmful influence of the fossil fuel industry’s ambition over our economies and societies, and push for clean and just energy sources for all humanity.”

 

Yossi Cadan, 350.org Senior Divestment Campaigner.

 

“I state the willingness of adhesion to the fossil fuel divestment and clean energy investment campaign promoted by FOCSIV. This statement aims to be a first concrete commitment in the logic of the integral ecology and the care of the common home, which Pope Francis called us to in the encyclical letter Laudato Si’, with a view of a progressive and effective process of divestment.”

 

Tommaso Valentinetti, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Pescara-Penne (Italy)

 

“The monastic community of Siloe, in the Diocese of Grosseto, starting from the building of the new monastic complex, in 2000, has been building on good practices of building with the use of renewable energy resources. Strongly committed on the issues of caring and safeguarding the creation, we consider it is important to be part of an initiative that is in very deep harmony with the value in which we believe and that gives a concrete answer to Pope Francis’s Call in his encyclical Laudato Si’ asking for a real ecological conversion and a new way to inhabit the Earth. On behalf of the community of Siloe, which I represent as a superior, I express my commitment to the fossil fuels divestment campaign.”

 

Fr. Mario M. Parente, PrioredellaComunitàmonastica di Siloe (Italy)

“I express the adhesion of the Italian province company of the Society of Jesus to the divestment campaign. With this adhesion I announce the intention to start a more detailed process about the different ways of removing our investments from fossil, progressively, within the next 5 years.”

Fr. Gianfranco Matarazzo, Provincial Father of Italian Jesuits (Italy)

“We, as Rete InterdiocesanaNuoviStili di Vita, express our adhesion to the divestment campaign from fossil fuels. We have a long-standing commitment for the care of our common home, that is our sister and mother earth, according to the teaching of the Encyclical Laudato SI’. We consider it is important to be part of an initiative that is in very deep harmony with the value in which we believe and that gives a concrete answer to Pope Francis’s call in his encyclical Laudato Si’ asking for a real ecological conversion, moving from fossil-based energies to renewables ones.”

 

Adriano Sella, National Coordinator of Rete InterdiocesanaNuoviStili di Vita. (Italy)

 

“The director and the head of the environmental section of the magazine Il dialogo have long been involved in the defense of human rights and of the environment. Joining the next joint Catholic divestment announcement is natural and genuine for us because it means adhering to the values we believe in. Therefore, during the Global Divestment Mobilization, we join more than 100 organizations and Churches around the world that have positively received the message of divestment from fossil fuels. Fossil fuel divestment is a concrete way to put Laudato Si’ into practice and bear witness to its message. In the Encyclical Laudato Si’ Pope Francis affirms: “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels […] especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.  (Laudato Si’, 165). As Pope Francis says, on climate change there is a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act. We are convinced that this union will lead to more sustainable finance and a more just and livable world. Therefore we have joined and invite all others to.

 

Giovanni Sarubbi, (Director) Michele Zarrella (Head of the environmental section) of “Il Dialogo” (Italy)

“We, St Joseph’s Province of the Congregation of the Passion (English Province of the Passionists) have committed to full fossil fuel divestment, to start as soon as possible and to be completed over the next 4 years, by 2021 at the latest.”

 

Fr. Martin Newell CP, St Joseph’s Province of the Congregation of the Passion (UK)

“As a community we have long committed ourselves to considering the root causes of violence. Through our study and discernment we compassionately respond both to compelling immediate and systemic needs at the local and global levels. We find that it is imperative that we move away from fossil fuels because of the impact they have on the environment.”

 

Sr. Sheila Kinsey, Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (USA)

 

“The Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, St. Clare Province of the Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, (USA) are announcing today that we can say with integrity that we have no current investment in fossil fuels, and we will in the next year add it to our Socially Responsible Investment Policy to assure no future investments in fossil fuels. In this way we wish to emphasize the urgency of the climate crisis and deepen our commitment to care for our common home.”

Sr. Melanie Paradis,osf, Sr. Lynn Schafer,osf, Sr. Trish Villarreal,osf, Sr. Alana Gorski,osf, Provincial Council of the The Wheaton Franciscan Sisters (USA)

 

Notes for the Editor

 

Founded in 2014, the GCCM is a coalition of over 100 Catholic organizations working to respond to the moral imperative of the climate change crisis. Further information can be found at http://catholicclimatemovement.global/divest-and-reinvest/

 

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E-News May 12, 2017

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E-News May 12, 2017

Please remember in your prayers this Sunday 14 May – Mother’s Day: that the Church and society honor all mothers, support women who have to carry on their responsibilities as mothers alone! Let us be in solidarity especially with those who face threats to their lives, to their integrity and that of their children.

15 May—The International Day of the Families has the theme: “Families, education and well-being”. The day focuses on raising awareness of the role of families in promoting early childhood education and lifelong learning opportunities for children and youth. The day promotes the importance of all caregivers in families.  International day of families.

21 May—World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Develop celebrates cultural diversity as a means of providing new perspectives for sustainable development and promoting creative industries resources for millions of jobs worldwide—particularly for youth and women.Culturaldiversityday.

22 May—International Day for Biological Diversity recognizes that biodiversity is the foundation for life and for the essential services provided by ecosystems. By stopping bio-diversity loss, we are investing in people, their lives and their well-being.

Biodiversityday.

29 May—International Day of UN Peacekeepers honors the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag with care and courage since 1948. More than 3,400 have lost their lives in service. Peacekeepersday.

 

 

E-Noticias 12 de mayo

Por favor recuerden en sus oraciones este domingo 14 de mayo – Día de la Madre: ¡Que la iglesia y la sociedad honren a todas las madres, apoyen a aquellas mujeres que tienen que asumir sus responsabilidades como madres solas! Seamos solidarios especialmente con aquellos que se enfrentan a amenazas a sus vidas, a su integridad y a la de sus hijos.

15 de mayo – El Día Internacional de las Familias tiene como tema: “Familias, educación y bienestar”. La jornada se centra en la sensibilización sobre el papel de las familias en la promoción de la educación de la primera infancia y las oportunidades de aprendizaje permanente para niños y jóvenes. El día promueve la importancia de todos los cuidadores en las familias. Familyday.

21 de mayo – Día Mundial de la Diversidad Cultural para el Diálogo y el Desarrollo celebra la diversidad cultural como un medio de proporcionar nuevas perspectivas para el desarrollo sostenible y promover los recursos de las industrias creativas para millones de puestos de trabajo en todo el mundo, especialmente para los jóvenes y las mujeres. Dia mundial de la diversidad.

22 de mayo – Día Internacional de la Diversidad Biológica reconoce que la biodiversidad es la base de la vida y de los servicios esenciales que proporcionan los ecosistemas. Al detener la pérdida de biodiversidad, estamos invirtiendo en las personas, sus vidas y su bienestar.http://www.un.org/es/events/bi odiversityday/.

29 de mayo – El Día Internacional de los Pacificadores de la ONU honra a más de un millón de hombres y mujeres que han servido bajo la bandera de la ONU con cuidado y valentía desde 1948. Más de 3.400 han perdido la vida en servicio. Dia internacional de los pacificadores de la onu.

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