It has been a year since Pope Francis published his encyclical, entitled “Laudato Si’, on Care for our Common Home.” His theological message, written with hope and resolve, brought Catholics together to call to dialogue and look at how the earth is being mistreated. His letter asking us to care for God’s creation has become a crucial dimension of Catholic Social Teaching and has instigated global activity to combat climate change.
His letter’s greatest impact, on the international scene, came at the Paris climate talks in December 2015. Many Catholics joined other Christians on pilgrimages to Paris ahead of the talks to put pressure on leaders of the nations in attendance.
CAFOD supporter Georgia White from Leicester travelled to the Paris with 20 other CAFOD supporters and staff. She notes how, “it was important that our delegation attended the conference so that we could pray and campaign for those who are most affected by climate change. It was also an opportunity to play an active part in witnessing the church’s commitment to social justice.”
She agrees that, “The Papal Encyclical is a worldwide wake-up call that helps humanity to understand the destruction that we are causing to the environment. Above all else, it is a challenge, to believers and non-believers alike, to do something in the face of climate change.”
On a diocesan level, many parishes and schools have undertaken their own encyclical implementation efforts. In the Hexham and Newcastle diocese, parishes have been going greener to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us.”
CAFOD representative in Hexham and Newcastle, Jeremy Cain, said: “It’s good to know the Pope sees the world the same way that we do. I’m inspired by the way he shows us the links between people and the environment from both a physical and spiritual perspective. We are so grateful for all that parishes and schools are doing to put the Pope’s message into action.”
Written by CAFOD’s Katherine Binns
Two failed rainy seasons which supply over 80% of Ethiopia’s agricultural crops has exhausted people’s ability to cope and they have simply run out of options for feeding their families and animals. We are appealing to our supporters in the Nottingham diocese to help provide food, clean water and basic sanitation
The devastating food shortage has been caused by two failed rainy seasons that has led to a severe drought, fuelled by one of the strongest El Nino weather patterns recorded. CAFOD’s partners in Ethiopia have been responding to the crisis since last year, reaching people with emergency food assistance and clean water. We are now appealing for £3 million to help those worst affected.
CAFOD representative for Nottingham, Maggie Mairura, said:
“Ethiopia faces a food shortage that has left millions without enough food to survive the months ahead. We’re already responding to the crisis through our local Ethiopian partners and we’re asking people here to support us and them so we can escalate our on-going emergency response.
“Our supporters here in the Nottingham diocese have always been generous both in times of emergency and for our ongoing work, with many parishes and schools coming together for our Refugee Appeal.
They are out fundraising and praying for the communities in Ethiopia. Because of this, we will be able to get more emergency aid to those who need it most.”
CAFOD is asking for people to give, act and pray in solidarity with the people of Ethiopia and those affected by the drought.
Even the smallest donation can make a massive difference to help us reach people in remote and isolated communities.
- £16 can buy 100kg of maize to feed a family of five for a month
- £35 provides a monthly food basket containing wheat, cooking oil and pulses
- £83 can provide 100kg of wheat seeds for farmers to sow
Shiferaw Mamo, Programme Coordinator for our partner, the Catholic Secretariat of Ethiopia, told us:
“Whatever anyone is able to give; £5, £20 or £100, they must know that they are saving lives; what they give changes a life.”