Kerry Launch of The Cry of The Earth

This document subtitled A Call to Action for Climate Justice was launched in Kerry on Wednesday December 10th in St. website 1 Brendan’s College, Killarney by Bishop Ray Browne.

Mr. Sean Coffey in his opening welcoming remarks used some words from the Foreword of the document ”Grateful to God for the gift of his creation, I encourage all people of goodwill to reflect urgently on how we can work together to take more responsible care of our planet now and for the sake of generations yet unborn. They deserve no less of us” . Cardinal Sean Brady.

Mr. Coffey also reminded those present that the date of December 10th being Human Rights Day was chosen as an appropriate date as climate change will, and indeed is, bringing change for all of us but especially for the poorest and most vulnerable people of our world and for future generations. This also coincided with The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP20 taking place in Lima, Peru, from December 1-12, at which the delegates are continuing the negotiations towards a global climate agreement to be finalised in Paris in December website2015.

This was a wonderful event when the Transition Year students under the guidance and creative leadership of their teacher Mr. PJ Lucey created a platform for the launch. The students guided us through their excellent power points presentations explaining not only climate change globally but locally and the concept of ‘climate justice’ and presented a short drama a in which they highlighted the obstacles that can block action for change in this area and the call to work together to achieve results. The overall theme being the need to move from being the dreamer or procrastinator to being the change we want to see in the world. They also showed a rather disturbing though compelling short video on man’s cruelty to the environment .They closed their presentation with a series of quotes taken from the document ending with a call to Bishop Ray to “to launch this document here in Kerry and to encourage and motivate and lead us in this work as faithful disciples of Jesus”.

The Bishop launching the Document for the Diocese hoped that the Cry of the Earth would become a shout of hope and gladness if we acted together and took this challenge seriously reminding us all that ‘Where’s there’s a will there’s a way’ and also referred to that quote from the document “Action at a global level as well as every individual action which contributes to integral human development and global solidarity, helps to construct a more sustainable environment and therefore a better world” Cardinal Brady. Bishop Ray also reminded us to consider in what state we will hand on the world to future generations. However as one student told us we would need ‘three earths if all people in the world consumed such as we do in Ireland”…there’s a huge and urgent need for a turnaround in our behaviour.

The Diocese had also invited representatives from civic society & were delighted to hear encouraging words from Micheal O Coileain, Environmental Awareness Officer of Kerry County Council , Mr Johnny Maguire of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Pat Foley of the National Park and Yvonne Quill of Killarney Tidy Town who all welcomed this launch. Also present were Marilyn Counihan and Sr. Joan of Killarney Asylum Seeker Initiative/KASI and some other guests and parents.

The Diocese was represented by members of the Pastoral Team, Fr Ger Godley, Ms. Bernie Mc Caffr ey. Mary Fagan, Anne Marie Whelan ,and Frances Rowland. Frances has recently returned from Ethiopia, a country already suffering from the severe impact of climate change but where, as a guest of Trocaire, she was witness to their stirling work on our behalf. Others were members of the Diocesan Justice, Peace, & Integrity of Creation Committee, Declan Crowley, Sr. Regina & Sylvia Thompson and the Bishop’s Secretary Fr. Donal O Neill.

The excellent resource to accompany and indeed help ‘unpack’ the Pastoral Reflection ‘GLAS’ produced by Trocaire was also highlighted. Trócaire’s which is supporting people in the developing world to improve their lives, meet their basic needs and ensure their human dignity is focusing particular attention and action on climate change work as Climate change is already a daily reality for the world’s poorest communities. It massively impacts their ability to access enough water or grow enough food to survive, let alone thrive” (www.trocaire.org)

It was a day when young people had their say and called us to action .This included students of St. Brigid’s Secondary School and their Green School Coordinator. Ms Dowling. St Brendan’s is presently working towards being a Green School. Today was surely a very significant milestone on the way to that.

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