St. Francis Prayer Service, 2018: Who Is My Neighbor?

St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, is also famous for his concern for peace and his devotion to people suffering from poverty and injustice. Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC)’s theme for his feast day this year joins all of them: “Who Is My Neighbor in a Climate Threatened World?” It especially focuses on the interconnections among immigration, refugees, and climate change.

Many past blogs have stressed these problems, their interrelationships, and our place in the cosmos’ evolution. I feel no need to “convince” readers. Instead, I offer the outline of a brief prayer service that you can adapt in any way:

                                                                            Prayer Service

Leader: Let us join together to honor St. Francis, to remember the needs of our own times that Frances would surely care about, and ponder how his spirit and commitment can lead us to action. Laudato Si’ is permeated with St. Francis’ spirit; Pope Francis mentions it in the first paragraph of his 2015 encyclical: “St. Francis reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.” (par. 1) 

Take turns reading from Laudato Si’:

“Authentic human development … presumes full respect for the human person, but it must also be concerned for the world around us and ‘take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system.’ Accordingly, our human ability to transform reality must proceed in line with God’s original gift of all that is.” (par. 5)

“There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation.” (par. 25)

“There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.” (par. 26)

“…everything is interconnected, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis….” (par. 137) 

“… we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion.” (par. 220)

“The poor and the earth are crying out.” (par. 246)

Share

How do you see climate change, immigration, and refugees as interconnected issues?

Imagine you are the head of a family forced to leave homeland due to flooding, drought, or lack of food in order to find housing and sustenance elsewhere. How would you feel? What would you miss?

Watch this 3:33 min. video

Links between migration and climate changeYouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQslOVboFfU

Decide

How might each person here, or this group together, improve the situation for immigrants, refugees, and climate change this week? We CAN make a difference!

Together: Prayer for Creation and Migrants 

May the Holy Family, who, Scripture tells us, fled to another country for safety, guide all those forced to leave their homes. 

May St. Francis’ example of giving what he had to those in need inspire us to respond generously when so many must leave everything due to climate disasters. 

May our own sense of interconnection with people and the entire planet bring us to take political action in this time of denial and rejection of climate change and migrating families.

May future generations have reason to be grateful to us for what we do, now, to stop the causes of migration, immigration, and climate change.     Amen.

Sing

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there’s doubt true faith in You.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness only light,
And where there’s sadness ever joy.

Oh, Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life

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