‘Prayers for Tomorrow’, written by Catholics across England and Wales, have been delivered to 10 Downing Street to call for action to tackle the climate crisis.
Jack from St Martin’s Catholic School in Nuneaton’s prayer asks for those in power to “make substantial changes to the world’s great threat and we ask you to guide them to put our common home’s preservation the greatest priority”.
The prayers are a direct response to the challenge to Catholics by Pope Francis, calling on them to reflect on the way we are treating our Common Home, and how what we are doing today will impact the lives of our sisters and brothers tomorrow.
Sister Karen Marguerite d’Artois, a Dominican Sister of Newcastle, Natal led the hand-in of the book of prayers at No 10 on Friday 16th June. They were organised by CAFOD, the official aid agency for the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
“It’s amazing and inspiring to see how many people of all ages have been praying for our common home, and for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers who are suffering from a climate crisis they did not cause,” said Sr Karen.
“We have to take responsibility for our actions and change our ways.
“Prayer is a powerful instrument. Not only do we acknowledge our failure to care for Creation, but we ask God for guidance to bring about change – starting with our own behaviours, small steps. Our prayer brings communities together to create change.
“Most importantly, I pray for courage and conversion of heart in our civil authorities: that our world leaders hear the cries of those suffering from the climate crisis, and act to put the interests of our global family first.”
The prayers were submitted online by people of all ages, including children praying for the future as well as grandparents praying for their family.
Another prayer includes one by Jasmine from Saint Martin’s Catholic School in Nuneaton: “Lord, we ask for your forgiveness… as we make changes to our daily lives to help protect and preserve the earth for our children, grandchildren and further generations”.
Side by side with the prayers is the demand for action to curb global heating. CAFOD will continue to press the UK government to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and to promote green and clean energy instead.
Apart from asking God to forgive humanity for mistreating the earth, the prayers seek a change in human hearts, so that the earth is protected for future generations.
Others thank God for giving us the beautiful world, and call for future generations to learn from the mistakes that have been made in dealing with nature.
Liam Finn, Campaigns Manager at CAFOD, said:
“Reading the Prayers for Tomorrow people have been sharing with us, it’s clear how committed Catholics in England and Wales are to responding to Pope Francis’s call to care for our common home.
“We want to thank the hundreds of CAFOD supporters who’ve given the time to share their prayers with us and inspire us to keep calling for action to tackle the climate crisis today for the sake of our global family tomorrow.”
Prayers can still be submitted via the CAFOD website, with people encouraged to give thanks to God for our Common Home, to ask God for the humility to reflect on how we have treated the earth, and for the Holy Spirit to guide world leaders into putting the interests of our global family first.
CAFOD supported the Prayers for Tomorrow initiative as part of the Great Big Green Week, a community action to tackle the climate crisis and protect nature.
- CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
- Photo credit: Joe Newman