Tuesday 19 May 2015 at 21:22Walking By Faith
by Bill Patenaude, Catholic Ecology
“So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, or we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-7
When St. Paul wrote these words, he sought to comfort the church in Corinth about concerns over life and death. Twenty centuries later and just under 10,000 kilometers away, Yeb Saño, the young Filipino diplomat turned climate activist, seeks to comfort a great many worried about climate change by following St. Paul’s words: He is walking by faith.
And in time, so will a great many more, of many faiths.
The People’s Pilgrimage is a global grassroots effort to encourage religious pilgrimages calling attention to climate change. The events are being championed by OurVoices, an international, interfaith group seeking to provide a platform for all peoples to speak out about climate change.
The pilgrimages will involve thousands worldwide who “will set out on journeys, big and small, to visit the places at the heart of the climate crisis,” according to OurVoices. Globally, the pilgrims will walk “to places of hope and resistance, but also to places at risk or already suffering the consequences of a less stable planet.”
Saño began the inaugural pilgrimage on Sunday in his home of Tacloban, an area of the Philippines hit hard in 2013 by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis visiited Tacloban during his trip the the Philippines. Saño began at Sto. Niño Church, which was itself badly damaged by Haiyan. Today the church remains a symbol of the deep Catholic faith and resilience of the people of the Philippines.
"The People’s Pilgrimage offers all of us, of every faith, the opportunity to join in and be part of a global journey for climate justice,” said Ciara Shannon, Asia Coordinator for OurVoices Asia and founding member of the Global Catholic Climate Network. “Every step we take reminds us of the importance of overcoming climate change challenges, while celebrating the amazing solutions to a global low-carbon transformation."
OurVoices expects a growing number of pilgrimages to be planned and walked over the next six months as world attention focuses on international climate talks in Paris this December.
Learn more here about the People’s Pilgrimage—especially how to join a pilgrimage that's already organized, or to organize your own.
If you can’t join a pilgrimage, pray for those taking part. And pray for all those who can impact the world’s response to climate change.
Originally published on Catholic Ecology