Advent message from Aloysius John, Secretary General
Dear Bishops,Dear Fathers and Sisters,
And dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The COVID-19 pandemic has destabilized our societies and has put us before a unique reality: the urgent need for solidarity and care for our common home. The Holy Father said that it is only if we unite in solidarity that we can all get out of this complex situation created by the pandemic.
At a time when we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, we are invited to recall the prophetic message of Pope Francis, who invited us to join together in solidarity to care for our common home and put the human person at the centre. This universal message addressed to all people of goodwill, was a call for personal conversion and unity in prayer and action, in order to contribute to the transformation of our society.
Advent symbolizes the time of hope. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Caritas Internationalis propose that this moment of hope be lived as a community united in prayer for one cause. The advent of a society of ecological and social justice where mankind will live in brotherhood as one human family in a common home, nurturing mother nature as a unique gift from God for today and for the generations to come.
This preparation through prayer undertaken in the local community encounters can be animated at the level of the parishes through concrete gestures of solidarity towards the poor and the mother earth, as well as in the families, schools and other places.
Caritas and other Church’s social pastoral bodies at the diocesan and parish levels can play an important role in animating these groups and also help to facilitate the encounters.
To this effect, we will send you proposed daily prayers, which can be adapted in your context and reality, and can be translated into local languages.
This prayer initiative is part of a wider process of celebrating the fifth anniversary of the encyclical through the launch of a multi-year journey to make our communities around the world totally sustainable in the spirit of the integral ecology of Laudato Si’. This would entail putting in place different activities that will take us through a seven-year period of committed reflection, sharing and caring for the poor and the mother nature. At the end of this period, we hope to achieve stronger awareness based on the teachings of Laudato Si’, leading to concrete changes in the communities, and to local solidarity in caring for the poor and the environment. In this way, living and promoting the integral ecology and universal fraternity at the community level will be obtained.
We will soon be sharing more information on this initiative in the hope to engage collectively in raising the awareness of our dioceses, parishes and communities about the teachings of Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti.
We request you to kindly diffuse this message in your diocesan Caritas so that it can reach the parishes.