The Global Catholic Climate Movement community is saddened by the news we are receiving from some of our members on the ground in Fiji. Cyclone Winston, the most powerful storm to hit Fiji in recorded history, has devastated the small island nation. The cyclone took over 40 lives and has left tens of thousands of people homeless.
Here’s a quote from a report we received from Columban Missionary Fr. John McEvoy:
“It was a category 5 cyclone – never before experienced in Fiji and the strongest recorded winds in the Southern Hemisphere. The nation is numb, shell-shocked and overwhelmed, so are we. The situation has emotionally affected us all and like the nation we are somewhat paralyzed, crying within and unable to get up and move into action.”
The country of Fiji will join the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice on March 5th, however, with this storm and the damage it has caused, we are sure they will be fasting many more days leading up to that. We call on our members and supporters to join in solidarity with our Catholic brothers and sisters there, and all the people of Fiji, and fast on March 5 in addition to your given country date.
We also invite you to send a message of solidarity with the people of Fiji. GCCM members in Fiji, Columban missionaries, will share your message with local communities on March 5 during their weekend masses. You can send your message by clicking below:
Here is quote by another Columban missionary in Fiji, Fr. Donald McIlraith: “…the village catechist, and his wife, have nothing left except the clothes they wear. How do you rebuild a whole village? But they will.”
Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ reminds us that, “large-scale natural disasters… cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation.” The tragedy in Fiji reminds us of the human impacts of the climate crisis and our role in seeking reconciliation with all of creation — in particular the need and obligation to transition off of fossil fuels without delay!
Lenten Season is a time for seeking wholeness and healing within ourselves and in the world. GCCM and our members the Columban Missionaries thank the global community of people who send their solidarity with Fiji and all of God’s Creation.
The GCCM team and the Columban Missionaries in Fiji