The board of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) gathered in Ireland this week to promote their mission to bring Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ to life in the Church. Today, Thursday 15 February, the board will meet in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, with the Laudato Si’ working group of the Irish Council for Catechetics to explore the work of GCCM and climate initiatives happening here in Ireland.
The GCCM is a global network dedicated to promoting Pope Francis’ call to action in Laudato Si’. The board includes Chairperson Amy Woolam Echeverria, international coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation for the Missionary Society of St Columban; Tomás Insua, CEO of GCCM; Lorna Gold of Trócaire; Michel Roy, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis; Amanda Hanley, co-director of the Hanley Foundation; John O’Shaughnessy, CEO for the Franciscan Sisters of Mary; Yeb Sano, executive director with Greenpeace; and Josef Sayer, former CEO of Misereor.
Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, Tomás Insua said, ‘We are delighted to be having our in-person board meeting in Maynooth this year. 2018 is a very important year for implementing international action on climate change. Momentum is building around action, particularly in relation to fossil fuel divestment and it is key that this continues to build.’
‘Catholics everywhere have a key role to play in bringing about positive change, particularly in response to Pope Francis call for an “ecological conversion”. We look forward to meeting with representatives of local church groups involved in climate change action and learning about the preparations for Pope Francis’ visit in August.’
The group began their visit this week with a spiritual retreat to Glendalough in Co Wicklow on Monday 12 February, where they took part in a guided walk led by Father Michael Grogan of the Tearmann Spirituality Centre.
This afternoon a joint meeting will take place between the GCCM and the Laudato Si’ working group of the Irish Council for Catechetics in the Columba Centre, Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth. The theme of the meeting will be ‘How are we Caring for our Common Home?’ and participants will reflect on the message of Laudato Sí and how it is being received in Ireland and internationally, especially in light of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August of this year. The meeting will close with Mass celebrated by Father Sean McDonagh SSC.
Lorna Gold of Trócaire said, ‘It is significant that the Global Catholic Climate Movement chose to meet in Ireland at the start of 2018. This meeting comes a week after a bishops’ retreat in Knock focusing on Laudato Sí. It also comes as the Irish parliament voted to end climate damaging fossil fuel exploration. It will be exciting to see what new initiatives arise. Trócaire, as a partner of GCCM, is delighted to have the chance to welcome the board to Ireland.’
The Global Catholic Climate Movement is a global network of over 400 member organizations and a community of thousands of Catholics responding to Pope Francis’ call to action in Laudato Si’. The GCCM aim to enable an ecological conversion of the Catholic faithful, to help the Catholic family lead by example and dramatically shrink its collective carbon footprint and to promote renewable energy. For more information, visit the GCCM website here.