CATANO, Puerto Rico (CNS) – Members of several Catholic groups joined representatives of more than 30 organizations for a march to “raise awareness and call to immediate action” to prepare for climate changes “that have started already” in this Caribbean island.
Despite light rain and a severe weather forecast, thousands of marchers gathered April 30 at Cosme Beitia Coliseum for prayer led by the Rev. Heriberto Rodriguez of the Puerto Rico Ecumenical and Interfaith Coalition before a 45-minute walk on a seaside road to Esperanza Park. Many marchers told Catholic News Service that their participation was directly tied to Pope Francis’ encouragement to protect the environment as expressed in his encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”
“We are here to share this moment with all these people, following Pope Francis’ instructions about caring for the environment of our planet, which he says is everyone’s home,” Father Jaime Rodriguez Ricope of nearby Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, told Catholic News Service.