By: Nicholas Napolitano
Assistant for Social Ministries for the Maryland, New England and New York Provinces
On Sunday, September 21, thousands of people from across the country will gather in New York City to participate in the People’s Climate March. The day before the march, Saturday, September 20 at 5:30 p.m., Jesuit-affiliated individuals in New York City are invited to gather at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th Street New York, N.Y.) to participate in Care for Creation for the Greater Glory of God, a gathering that will include community-building, prayer and conversation on how Jesuit institutions are called to care for creation and speak out in the face of climate change.
The People’s Climate March will take place in advance of the 2014 UN Climate Summit on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, to which United National Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders to New York in advance of global climate talks to be held in Paris in December 2015. The goal of the summit is to organize world leaders to act during the Paris 2015 talks whereas the goal of the march is to demonstrate to world leaders that if we do not act now in response to the global ecological crisis it will be too late to do anything but watch it unfold. The goal of this Jesuit-affiliated gathering is to organize our response as a community of faith.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to contemplate creation and to see in it the creator, dwelling in all creatures and laboring for us in each particular reality and in all of history (Sp. Ex., nos. 234-236). In 2008, Jesuit leaders from across the world gathered for General Congregation 35 and reminded us that we live in a time of widespread environmental destruction that threatens the future of our planet and that we must heed the call to restore right relationships with Creation (GC 35, 3, 34). In a September 2011 letter to the whole Society, Father General Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, wrote, “Just in the way Jesuits are called to promote and serve right relationship with God and with other human beings, in the same way and with the same urgency, we are called today to restore and heal humanity’s broken relationships with Creation.”
On Saturday, September 20, as a community of faith we will examine our personal lifestyles, our community and family life, our employment and our political responsibility, so that in all aspects of our lives, we can contribute to the sustainability of the planet. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Nick Napolitano (firstname.lastname@example.org).