NEWS 2017 - Catholics across six continents are preparing for #Mercy2Earth Weekend (April 22-23) to celebrate care for the environment as a Christian Act of Mercy. The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) launched the #Mercy2Earth campaign as a way for Catholics around the world to celebrate the weekend of Earth Day (April 22) and Divine Mercy Sunday (April 23), a day when Catholics traditionally reflect on God's mercy.
The campaign follows on Pope Francis' naming of care for the environment as an 8th act of mercy in his "Show Mercy to our Common Home" message issued on September 1, 2016, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
The #Mercy2Earth campaign aims to encourage Catholics to reflect on the Pope's message and put it into action. The campaign has two moments: a time of preparation during the Season of Lent from March 1 to April 12 and a time of action on #Mercy2Earth weekend, April 22-23. GCCM aims to showcase at least 500 acts of mercy around the globe.
Multiple groups around the globe have already begun planning events:
- In the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Capuchin Brotherhood in Tiputini will host a day of prayer and action out in nature.
- Presentations on the Laudato Si encyclical will happen in places like Mauritius and Italy
- "Green masses" will be celebrated across the United States and Bolivia
- A feeding program is planned in the Philippines to support vulnerable communities.
"Lent is a time of transformation for Catholics. We hope the preparation time for #Mercy2Earth weekend will give people the opportunity to open their hearts to this transformation," stated Tomas Insua, Executive Director of GCCM. "This will be a special weekend for Catholics to take action in their communities through advocacy, education, and prayer, to bring mercy to our common home."
In the United States, people are using #Mercy2Earth weekend to prepare for the People's Climate Movement march on April 29th in Washington, DC and all over the country. Momentum for the march is growing in light of the Trump administration's recent executive order to dismantle the Clean Power Plan.
The #Mercy2Earth website has several resources such as a step-by-step guide, outreach materials, and liturgical resources to assist people in participating in the campaign. See more at http://www.mercy2earth.org