USCCB, Renewing the Earth, 1991
Over 800 people gathered in downtown Hartford on Sunday, April 27th for the 2nd Riverfront Earth Day, co-organized by the OCSJM Environmental Justice Team and the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network.
Moved by the urgency of climate change and the awareness that an environmental crisis constitutes a moral and religious crisis, the Riverfront Earth Day Committee started the afternoon with prayer. The Interfaith Prayer Service gathered 130 people from throughout the archdiocese and region to pray that we might care for creation.
Mary O'Brien, OCSJM global solidarity coordinator, and members from the Hamden Social Action Committee staffed a "Fair Trade and the Environment" booth, offering free samples of fair trade coffee and chocolate. OCSJM Board member Lou Terzo, and other Brake the Cycle members, provided a bicycle escort as the group marched from the prayer event to the Riverfront Plaza. A special thank you goes to Mary Ann Fagan, her confirmation students, and their parents who joined us from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rocky Hill, and to the Hartford Catholic Worker for bringing the beautiful puppets for our march through downtown Hartford!
Although the day was a bit cloudy and we were sprinkled with (some holy) rain water as we marched to the plaza, the afternoon was a wonderful opportunity to be together in prayer and community to learn about different environmental justice issues and the groups working on topics such as transportation and composting in Hartford. A very important aspect of this event was the recycling! Riverfront Earth Day was the first event at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza to include designated recycling and composting stations!
While it is fun to come together to celebrate Earth Day in April, it is important to remember that we must work to "live in harmony with God's creation" every day. As our Catholic Social Teaching urges us, we must care for God's creation.