Suggested FCJM-Participation for the Month of June, 2017
June 5—World Environment Day
On June 5th, people across the world will be celebrating World Environment Day, mobilizing to protect the global environment that sustains life on our fragile planet. The day calls on all of us to take responsibility to act in ways large and small to protect our environment. This year’s theme is “Connecting People With Nature”. Let us each spend some time in nature, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the rain, all creatures great and small who share this planet with us, soil and water, wind and clouds.
For more information click on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Environment_Day
Holy One, we praise you for the wonder of your being, revealed to us every day in nature. We thank you for this precious planet where we live and for all the creatures who share it with us. Help us to protect Earth our common home and to live each day with gratitude.
June 8—World Oceans Day
This day honors the world’s oceans and their life-sustaining role. The theme, “Ours Oceans, Our Future” reflects the crucial role that oceans play in our lives. The day provides an opportunity to get directly involved in protecting our future, through a new mindset and personal and community action and involvement – beach cleanups, educational programs, art contests, film festivals, sustainable seafood events, and other planned activities. Not only do oceans provide us with food, oxygen and medicine, the ocean currents, greatly affected by ocean temperatures, regulate earth’s seasons and weather patterns. A Dutch project recently raised $21.7 million to help develop and test cleanup technology to rid the oceans of plastic pollution. This is one of many efforts to protect our oceans.
Creator of life, we thank you for the seas that team with life, determine our weather and usher in our seasons. Help us to use the gifts of the sea with respect for sustainability. Help us to grow in awareness of how our daily choices can affect the oceans and change our hearts so that we can change our lives.
June 12—World Day Against Child Labor
This day is dedicated to the prevention of using children for military service or economic labor. Childhood is a sacred time of life for acquiring knowledge, learning skills and growing physically, unencumbered by adult responsibilities. Child labor refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. The unacceptable reality is that millions of children around the world, some as young as five, are still working for their survival and for that of their families. There is an obvious link between child labor and lack of education and poverty. In order to end extreme poverty (one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals), children must be free to learn, play, grow and develop their gifts and talents to the fullest extent possible.
For more information go to: http://www.unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/29803-qno-to-child-labour-yes-to-educationq-un-observes-world-day-again
God, we ask your blessing and protection for children throughout the world. Keep them safe, help them to know that they are loved, and support them with food, shelter, and all they need to develop to their fullest potential. Make us aware of how some children are exploited and give us the courage to act against it whenever we encounter it.
June 17—World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
This day calls our attention to the rapidly expanding areas of drought across our planet due to climate change. Desertification is not only a consequence of the loss of surface water, but the depletion of underground aquafers leading to further losses of fresh water sources. In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The assembly acknowledged that desertification and drought were global problems because they affected all regions of the world. The assembly also realized that joint action by the international community was needed to combat desertification and drought, particularly in Africa.
God, we thank you for Earth, our Mother, who sustains us. Help us to make changes in our lives in order to preserve water and protect it from pollution. We commit ourselves to make whatever changes are needed to stabilize our climate and reduce global warming which is leading to desertification and drought.
June 20—World Refugee Day
With millions of people displaced around the world due to famine, climate change, war and terrorism, the global refugee situation is worse than at any time since World War II. World Refugee Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of refugees around the world. Many fled their homes with only the clothes on their backs and cannot return without facing almost certain death. Many live in refugee camps near borders they cannot cross. This day is a time to pause and consider how each of us can reach out to refugees in our midst and how we can pressure our governments to open our countries to receive those desperate for safety and a new beginning. In 2016, the UN estimated that over 60 million refugees have fled their home countries.
God, we pray for the safety of refugees throughout the world. Protect them from harm and open our hearts so that we actively welcome those in need into our own countries and homes. Help us to reach out in love and respect, realizing that we have much to learn from those who come to our shores.
June 26—International Day In Support Of Victims Of Torture
June 26th has been set aside by the UN to remind us all that torture is not only immoral it is a crime. It gives us all the opportunity to raise our voices in solidarity to declare that torture is not acceptable, no matter who may try to justify its use. We, the citizens of the world, reject torture, declaring that there is no justification for its use and must be declared universally illegal. Torture denies the inherent dignity of every human person and violates international law. We call on all governments to abide by this law and to bring to justice those who engage in torture.
In his address to mark the 2011 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon summed up the continuing struggle:
"Torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment and punishment, wherever they occur and whatever the circumstances, can never be justified. States must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction."
Holy One, you have made every person with an inherent dignity and sacredness. Teach us to treat each other with empathy, respect and compassion. Whenever we know of torture, disrespectful or inhumane treatment of others, may we raise our voices in protest and take action to stop it. Let us never condone torture by our silence. Give us the courage we need to stand up against torture and to demand an end to its use.
For more information go to: http://www.earthtimes.org/politics/un-international-day-support-victims-torture-26thjune/2056/
Suggested FCJM-Participation for the Month of May, 2017
May 15—The 86th Anniversary of Quadragesimo Anno
On 15 May, 1931, Pope Pius XI published his encyclical Quadreagesimo Anno on the 40th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum. These two encyclicals address the emerging social realities of private property, the relationship between capital and labor, and the social order emerging out of the industrial revolution. While private property is viewed as essential to human freedom and full human development, it is also at the service of the common good. For this reason, redistribution of property by governments (which happens through taxation in order to provide for the common good) is seen as essential. Capital is recognized as essential to flourishing economies, but the popes recognized the importance of just compensation for labor, and labor’s role in the creation of capital. Three elements determine a fair wage: The worker's family responsibilities, the economic condition of the enterprise and the economy as a whole. Again, the common good in linked to both labor and capital. The emerging social order demands more solidarity between employers and employees, for the sake of the common good. This requires cooperation and communication. In light of these values, the popes called for “a third way” of social structuring—between capitalism and communism—in which government, industry and labor work together. These are still ideals worth working towards.
For more information click on https://www.enotes.com/topics/quadragesimo-anno
Let us pray for all of us, as we struggle to create a more just society. May we always consider the common good as we make decisions about our lives. Help us to respect the freedom and creativity of each person and do whatever we can to help each person achieve his or her full potential. May all that we do improve not only our own lives but the lives of the least among us and protect Earth.
Like St Francis, Franz Jägerstätter was a somewhat wild young man early in his life. He joined a gang and often fought others with knives and chains. However, he underwent a dramatic conversion to gospel non-violence, forsaking all weapons and fighting and became a member of the Third Order of St Francis. He married and became the sole supporter of a wife, three daughters and his mother. When conscripted into the Nazi army, he refused to fight in the war. He knew that to participate in even a non-combat role would be a form of participation in the violence and evil of Nazi Germany. He was arrested, tried by a military court of undermining military morale, and executed on 9 August, 1943 at the age of 33. Although many people, including Church leaders, tried to change his mind, Franz remained committed to peace and justice and refused military service.
For further information go to:
Let us pray for those traumatized by war and violence. May we always remain committed to the peaceful resolution of differences and to the respect for the rights of others. Holy One, help us to live Gospel non-violence in our daily lives, no matter what the cost. May we join others in acts of courageous peacemaking!
May 22 - International Day for Biological Diversity
On 22 May, 1992 the Nairobi conference on Biological Diversity agreed to adopt the text of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The convention was inspired by the world’s growing commitment to sustainable development. This year’s theme is Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism. Sustainable tourism is recognized by the United Nations as a positive instrument towards the eradication of poverty, the protection of the environment and biodiversity, the improvement of quality of life and the economic empowerment of women and youth, particularly in developing countries. Strengthening protected areas is essential to the preservation of biodiversity. Conservation and support for indigenous communities are also important in this effort. In the spirit of Laudato Si, this day calls each of us to be conscious of our role in climate change and the extinction of species, and to do what we can to slow this process. Biodiversity is life—loss of biodiversity is death.
For more information go to: https://www.cbd.int/tourism/guidelines.shtml?page=2
God, we ask you to open our heart to the richness and diversity of your creation. Help us to recognize your presence in every creature and to treasure the gifts of biodiversity that we experience. As we walk through life, may we look with open eyes and experience with open hearts, the wonders you share with us. May gratitude flow forth from us in response to your loving presence.
May 24—Second Anniversary of Laudato Si: On the Care Of Our Common Home
After 2 years, Laudato Si, continues to challenge all of us to see the connection between caring for Earth, our common home, and caring for the poor. In this inspiring document, Pope Francis hears the “cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor” as one cry. The poor disproportionately experience the effects of global climate change, even though they have contributed to it the least. This document explores the connection between inequality, injustice and environmental destruction. It speaks with urgency about the desolation of our planet and a ‘throwaway culture’ that is not only affecting the climate, but is devastating the lives of millions of its inhabitants who are displaced, impoverished and marginalized by an economy of exclusion and the “globalization of indifference.” Dramatic action rooted in a deep spiritual conversion is called for to change our lifestyles and systems that contribute to this crisis.
Holy One, we thank you for Earth, the beautiful home in which we live. Help us to live with wonder, awe and gratitude each day. May we commit ourselves to change our lives so that Earth can continue to sustain life for many generations yet to come