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Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:25). God’s gaze, at the beginning of the Bible, rests lovingly on his creation. From habitable land to life-giving waters, from fruit-bearing trees to animals that share our common home, everything is dear in the eyes of God, who offers creation to men and women as a precious gift to be preserved. I strongly encourage the faithful to pray in these days that, as the result of a timely ecumenical initiative, are being celebrated as a Season of Creation. This season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home begins today, 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on 4 October, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Preparing for the Season of Creation

On 6 August 2015, Pope Francis announced the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ to be celebrated on 1 September annually; a call ‘to contribute to resolving the ecological crisis which humanity is presently experiencing’.  We encourage you to participate by reflecting on your own experiences in nature and what it means to live on this planet Earth, a small blue dot in an expanding universe.

Our Sunday Reflections for the month of September will offer you thoughts and prayers along this theme which you may use in your liturgies or in personal prayer time.

Remembering East Timor's Vote for Independence 1999

“I was 24 years old in 1999. I was a Carmelite student, studying in Flores, Indonesia. Our Carmelite leaders in Indonesia gave ten of us East Timorese students permission to take leave from our studies and return to Timor to participate in the popular consultation.

I forget the exact date we left Flores. It was about one week before the vote on 30th August. It took one day and one night on the ferry. In the past when we travelled on an Indonesian ferry, we were free to move around, to go outside and have a look around. But at that time the ten of us stuck together. We didn’t move. We ate together and sat together. It was tense.

True wealth is found in Jesus Christ, not money, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis on Wednesday August 7, 2019 criticized those who give more consideration to money than the sacraments or helping others find true wealth – a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“How many times do I think of this when I see some parishes where it is thought that money is more important than the sacraments! Please! A poor Church: let us ask the Lord for this,” the pope said.

The Gospel teaches to not put trust in financial resources, but in “the true wealth” that is a relationship with Jesus Christ, he said. “We are indeed – as St. Paul would say – ‘poor, but capable of enriching many; as people who have nothing and instead possess everything.’”

Administrators of Justice

The decisions made by judges influence the rights and property of citizens. Their independence should keep them safe from favoritism and from pressures that could contaminate the decisions they have to make. Judges must follow the example of Jesus, who never negotiates the truth.

Let us pray that those who administer justice may work with integrity, and that the injustice which prevails in the world may not have the last word. Pope Francis

The State of the Earth's Climate

EScarelWeb150Renowned Carmelite climate scientist, Fr Eduardo Scarel, looks at the state of the earth's climate over the last 4 years - the 4 warmest ever recorded. He explains the causes of global warming and the results on temperatures, extreme weather events, ice shrinkage and the rise of CO2 emissions.

"The next few years are crucial", he says. "We are the last generation that could and should act to avoid crossing crucial turning points and avoid irreversible damage to our common home, the earth, the abode of humanity and the rest of God's creatures."

  pdf Read the article (474 KB)

Seeking Asylum in Australia

The last issue in 2018 of CARMENGO the International publication of the Carmelite NGO contains a lead article on ‘Seeking Asylum in Australia’, written by Peter Thomas of our JPIC Team.

pdf Click here to download and read the issue (1.34 MB)

Agape Leona Helps Human Trafficking Survivors In Africa

Carmelite NGO and the International JPIC Commission are dedicated to their work of eliminating Human Trafficking throughout the world.

This video shows the work in Zimbabwe through the Carmelite sisters in a project called AGAPE Leona:   

Meet women survivors of human trafficking who are rebuilding their lives, thanks to Agape Leona, an initiative of the Carmelite NGO in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The stories of Shamiso, Olivia, Sibongile and Mukai represent thousands of African trafficking victims.

Agape Leona rescues survivors and helps them recover and build new lives, offering training in job skills and self-sufficiency. The program works with about 50 survivors and hopes to reach even more. Agape Leona networks with other organizations such as the African Forum for Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST) to raise awareness and prevent others from becoming victims.

Human trafficking is a major problem in Zimbabwe, with victims often taken to middle eastern countries for forced labor. In 2017, the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed Zimbabwe on its Tier 2 Watchlist. The Office ranks nations based on their compliance with standards outlined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. Tier 2 Watchlist Countries like Zimbabwe do not fully comply with TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making progress. Tier 2 countries have significant numbers of severe trafficking victims or have trafficking that's on the rise.

Join hands with the Carmelite NGO as we help people around the world in the areas of Education, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. The Carmelite NGO, affiliated with the United Nations, was established in 2001 to help the men and women of the Carmelite Family create a more peaceful, just and loving world by advocating and caring for the spiritual and human needs of the family and the environment.

The Pope Video [February 2019]

Let us pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence. 
- Pope Francis

Although we try to ignore it, slavery is not something from other times.
Faced with this tragic reality, no one can wash their hands of it without being, in some way, an accomplice to this crime against humanity.
We cannot ignore the fact that there is as much slavery in the world today as there was before, or perhaps more.
Let us pray for a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.

Carmelite NGO wins accreditation to UN Environment Program

The Carmelite NGO has been given accreditation to the UN Environment Program and observer status at its Assembly. This provides the Carmelite NGO with the opportunity to participate in the Regional Consultation meetings and in the preparation of the Regional Civil Society Statements. The Carmelite NGO is now able to submit written documents and participate in public meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

Accreditation provides non-governmental organizations with observer status to the Assembly and its subsidiary bodies and brings many advantages to the Carmelite NGO with respect to participation in the work of UN Environment’s Governing Bodies, such as the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UN Environment and the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

Laudato Si' 3rd Anniversary

Watch a short video about the Vatican Conference held to celebrate the 3rd anniversay of Laudato Si'

Laudato Si' Curriculum for Seconday Education

Read the latest issue of the Carmelite NGO newsletter featuring the development of an education program for secondary school students. The program was developed by the Carmelite NGO and Salpointe Catholic High School - a Carmelite school in Tucson, Arizona.

  pdf Read the newslette (753 KB) r

A House of Mercy in Indonesia

Thanks to collaboration between the Indonesian Carmelites and the Carmelite NGO Mercy House in Indonesia offers children from poor families a place to learn, develop and play. Mercy House is also home to abandoned elderly people where they receive care, dignity and a place to live for the rest of their lives. Find out more by watching the short video below.

Watch the video

Our History, Our Story, Our Future

In every nation’s story there are important moments—events and crossroads—that shape the chapters to come.

For all Australians this ancient land connects the stories of our past, our present and our future.

The Crocodile and the Kangaroo

'The Crocodile and the Kangaroo' is the story of the relationship between Timor-Leste and Australia written by Br Agedo Bento, OCarm. The story is told by the Crocodile (national symbol of Timor-Leste) and the Kangaroo (national symbol of Australia). It focusses on the negotiations between Timor-Leste and Australia over a just share of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

Click the play button below. 

The Mission of the Laity | A missão dos leigos

Lay people are on the front line of the life of the Church. We need their testimony regarding the truth of the Gospel and their example of expressing their faith by practicing solidarity.Let us give thanks for the lay people who take risks, who are not afraid and who offer reasons for hope to the poorest, to the excluded, to the marginalized. Let us pray together this month that the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, the mission that they received in Baptism, putting their creativity at the service of the challenges of today's world.

Watch the video (English) | Assista ao vídeo (Português)

We will not remain silently complicit ...

We will not remain silently complicit in the destruction of our common home. We urge our Carmelite Family to join us in a commitment to study, prayer and the performance of very simple gestures that will contribute to substantive change in our lifestyles. The culture of indifference is one of the key challenges within our communities and societies. Blessed Titus Brandsma, along with many other Carmelite saints, reminds us “We are not called to do great things. We are called to do the ordinary things in grand style.”

Read the final message of the International Carmelite JPIC Congress

Uluru Statement from the Heart

Indigenous leaders from across the country gathered from 23-26 May this year to discuss constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. This First Nations Convention was the culmination of 12 regional dialogues held across the country.

You can pdf read the full statement (18 KB) from the Convention.

More JPIC Resources

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Click the image below to go to the international Carmelite NGO website


  pdf The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor (902 KB)
A reflection on poverty, the desert and the Carmelite charism

  pdf The God of Our Contemplation (902 KB)
Exploring the connection between the Carmelite vocation and work for Justice and Peace

The Carmelite Commission for Justice, Peace & the Integrity of Creation
is an outreach of the Carmelite Friars
of the Province of Australia and Timor-Leste

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