Published April 14, 2011
The second annual Catholic Earth Day is on Sunday, May 1, from 2-7 p.m. at Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center, Atlanta.
The free event includes a day of education and a discussion of environmental issues and the responsibility Catholics have to care for the earth and the poor and vulnerable, according to the Catholic Earth Day organizing committee.
With a theme of “The Air We Breathe,” Catholic Earth Day will begin with prayer and feature two speakers who will share perspectives on the air and how treatment of this resource affects the poor.
“Air struck the committee as something that is incredibly essential to all of our well-being. Human survival requires it whether we are rich or poor,” said Nancy Sestak, chairperson of the committee and the first speaker. “While air is not something that we might think about in our daily lives, it is very much something that we create and influence. Our everyday choices of transportation, the homes we live in, the energy we consume, all affect the air that we breathe and the air that our neighbors breathe.”
A second speaker, Steve Valk, who attends the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta, will lead a session about climate change, its impact on the poor, and the opportunity people have to alter its course by communicating with elected officials.
“If we keep burning coal and oil, we’ll leave our children and grandchildren with an unbreathable, unlivable planet, and nobody wants that,” he said.
The event is to begin at 2 p.m. and will include an outdoor Mass (weather permitting) to be celebrated at 5 p.m., with Jesuit Father Edd Salazar presiding. A reception will follow featuring locally grown food and tips for daily care of creation. The event is free and open to all.
The inaugural Catholic Earth Day Celebration, held in April 2010, turned the spotlight on water. The event, which drew 50 people from across the city, was recognized with the “Trailblazer Award” by Georgia Interfaith Power & Light at its annual GIPPY’s award ceremony.
The Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center is located at 6700 Riverside Drive, NW, Atlanta.
Space is limited, so advance registration is preferred and carpooling is encouraged. RSVP at www.facebook/CatholicsCaringforCreation or call Ignatius House at (404) 255-0503 for more information.