BRUNO, Sask. — Christians are invited to create a climate of change both at home and abroad, 14 people were told at a Development and Peace workshop, Jan. 24, in Bruno, Sask. The theme for Share Lent in 2016 is Create a Climate of Change, Armella Sonntag of Battleford, provincial animator for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, said.
Interwoven into the Share Lent theme is the idea of pilgrimage, where people go on personal pilgrimages at home, in their parish or with others in their local communities and communities across the globe.
The conception of Creating a Climate of Change is being promoted by Pope Francis who is challenging everyone to open their hearts and be merciful, Victor Granger of Bruno said. Pope Francis is encouraging everyone to be wary of how lifestyles in the West are leading to the exploitation of resources and a changing climate. The consequence of the western lifestyle has brought shifts in weather patterns and a surge in devastating storms.
The Grangers are striving to follow the environmental message of the pope and theme of Lent by creating a climate of change in their home and business through a simpler and more creative lifestyle. Lent can become a pilgrimage of taking steps to live more simply, he said. It is possible to live more modestly by looking at what one wants and then at what one needs. Having fewer things at home can make life more enjoyable because that means there are fewer things to look after and clean, he remarked.
The Grangers practice recycling at their home and business and have cut down on their disposable waste. They use rain water for their garden and arrange their vegetables in patterns where the plants need less water. Eating one’s own garden produce lessens the reliance on food that must be transported over long distances, he said. The Grangers purchase their beef from a local farmer and they know the meat is healthy because the farmer takes good care of his cattle. Purchasing beef locally means the Grangers support a local business and are doing their part to reduce the carbon footprint by reducing their reliance on food that must be transported.
There are many materials available for parishes to communicate the theme of the Share Lent Campaign, Sonntag commented. Activities of Share Lent introduce people to the corporal works of mercy which include: feeding the hungry, giving a drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and burying the dead.
Development and Peace uses its resources to assist people in Canada and across the globe who are victims of disasters, conflicts, injustice, and who struggle to eke out a living, Sonntag commented. The Catholic organization will begin its 50th year celebrations in 2016 and conclude them next year.