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Day for Life 2016 to be celebrated on Sunday 2 October

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Day for Life is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. It is a day dedicated to celebrating and upholding the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. This year’s Day for Life will be celebrated in Ireland on Sunday 2 October on the theme ‘Everything is Connected’.

Day for Life 2016 pastoral message in English, Irish and Polish: 

‘Everything in Connected’

‘Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.’
Letter of St John Paul II to Artists, 1999

Last year was the hottest on record. In a small village in the South East of India, a farmer called Jejabba braved the midday heat to take his cows to shelter by a mango grove. He arrived home dehydrated and died before he could reach a hospital. He was 63. Jejabba is not alone. Over 4,500 people in India and Pakistan died during last summer’s heatwave. Rising temperatures are making droughts more severe and floods more intense. The poor always suffer most.

On 18 June 2015, Pope Francis published his environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ (Praise Be), and in December of that year, the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement was signed. The pope reminded us powerfully that we are one human family sharing a common home, dependent upon one another and the whole of creation. It is our duty to ‘pay special attention to the most vulnerable.’ He said, ‘Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structures of nature itself. When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 117)

When we recognise and grow in wonder that we are all brothers and sisters living in one common home, it will not only affect how we care for the environment, but also how we care for one another and how we welcome and accept those with different needs and abilities, refugees, the elderly, the unborn, the forgotten and the abandoned.

Growing in wonder will help us to treasure more deeply the gift of human life.

A Prayer for Our Earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

Excerpt from A Prayer for Our Earth from Laudato Si’. 

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‘Tá gach rud fite fuaite le chéile’

‘Ag tabhairt ucht ar naofacht na beatha agus ar naofacht an duine daonna, agus os comhair iontais na cruinne, is é ionadh an dearcadh cuí amháin.’

(Litir ó Naomh Eoin Pól II chuig Ealaíontóirí, 1999)

Ba í an bhliain seo caite an bhliain ba theo riamh. I sráidbhaile beag in oirdheisceart na hIndia, chuaigh feirmeoir darbh ainm dó Jejabba, amach faoi theas meán lae chun foscadh a thabhairt dá bha i ngarrán mangó. Nuair a tháinig sé abhaile bhí sé díhiodráitithe agus fuair sé bás sula bhféadfaí é a thabhairt go dtí an ospidéal. Bhí sé seasca trí bliana d’aois. Níl Jejabba leis féin. Fuair os cionn 4,500 duine bás san India agus sa Phacastáin i rith an tsamhraidh seo caite le linn tonn teasa. Mar thoradh ar ardú teochta tá triomach níos déine agus tuilte níos déine ann. Agus is iad na bochtáin a bhíonn ag fulaingt go mór i gcónaí.

Ar 18ú Meitheamh 2015, d’fhoilsigh an Pápa Proinsias a imlitir thimpeallachta Laudato Si’ (Moladh Le), agus i mí Nollag na bliana sin, síníodh an comhaontú stairiúil – Athrú Aeráide Pháras. Chuir an Pápa i gcuimhne dúinn go cumhachtach, gur teaghlach daonna amháin sinn agus teach coiteann á roinnt againn, agus go bhfuilimid ag brath ar a chéile agus ar iomlán a bhfuil cruthaithe. Tá sé de dhualgas orainn ‘aird ar leith a thabhairt do na daoine is leochailí.’ Dúirt sé, ‘Má dhéantar faillí monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar an dochar atá déanta don nádúr agus an tionchar ar an dtimpeallacht atá mar thoradh ar ár gcinntí, comhartha suntasach a bheidh ann de neamhaird ar an teachtaireacht atá i struchtúir an nádúir féin. Nuair a theipeann orainn a admháil, mar chuid den réaltacht atá ann, luach duine bocht amháin, luach suth daonna , luach duine faoi mhíchumas – gan ach roinnt samplaí a thabhairt – bíonn sé deacair éisteacht le caoineadh an nádúir féin; tá gach rud fite fuaite.’ (Pápa Proinsias, Laudato Si’ 117)

Nuair aithnímid agus nuair a fhásaimid sa tuiscint iontach go bhfuilimid go léir gaolta le chéile agus inár gcónaí i mbaile coiteann amháin, beidh tionchar ar seo ní amháin ar an dtimpeallacht, ach ar an tslí a thugaimid cúram dá chéile agus ar conas a chuirimid fáilte rompu siúd le riachtanais dhifriúla, roimh dhídeanaithe, roimh dhaoine scothaosta, roimh linbh gan bhreith, agus rompu siúd atá dearmadta agus tréigthe.

Agus sinn ag fás in ionadh, cabhróidh sé linn luach níos doimhne a chur ar bhronntanas na beatha daonna.

Paidir don Domhan atá Againn

A Dhia uile-chumhachtach, tá tú i láthair sa chruinne ar fad agus sna créatúir is lú ar fad.

Tugann tú barróg bog do gach a chruthaigh tú. Doirt cumhacht do ghrá amach orainn,

Ionas gur féidir linn an bheatha agus an áilleacht a chosaint. Líon sinn le síocháin, ionas gur féidir linn maireachtáil mar dheartháireacha agus deirfiúracha, gan dochar a dhéanamh d’éinne.

Laudato Si’

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Photos used on this year’s Day for Life postcard (clockwise from top): Pope Francis greets a pilgrim in St Peter’s Square, November 2013  © Mazur/www.catholicnews.org.uk; A family harvest their crops in the South Hebron Hills © Eoghan Rice/Trócaire; Statue of St Francis of Assisi © Mazur/www.catholicnews.org.uk; A family takes a break before heading onwards at Presevo Refugee Centre, Serbia, October 2015© Maebh Smith/Trócaire; Pupils of Millstreet Community School, Cork sleep out to launch Trocaire’s Lenten Campaign, 2014 © Claire Keogh/Trócaire; Trócaire’s Turkana Greenhouse Project, East Africa, January 2016 © Catherine M. Waking/Trócaire; Mary Robinson and Trócaire’s Éamonn Meehan at the Trócaire project in Adigrat in north Ethiopia, July 2016 © Eoghan Rice /Trócaire; ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ March, Dublin, 29 November 2015 © Mark Stedman/Trócaire.

ENDS

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