Catholic Prayer before the Courthouse for Our Children’s Trust, Our Common Home, and All

November 5, 2018

Fr. Gary Cappleman transcript Facebook Live October 29, 2018 at Wayne L Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene.

My name is Father Gary Cappleman. I am a priest with St. Thomas Newman Center (on the University of Oregon campus). We serve the youth primarily, and it is the youth that I salute who are working so hard to save our planet. May God bless their efforts.

Love created this universe and it is the love burning in our hearts which compels us to love this planet and all its creatures. So I ask, Love, burn in our hearts, awaken in us the love for this planet and for every creature and every plant that you created with such love. Help us to look upon each other with that love that you have, that we recognize that every human being is a gift, and so is every rock, every tree, every mountain, every flower and every river. Amen.

I am deeply honored to be here and to hear the Elders and Medicine Men, and their beautiful prayers. Thank you, and also for all the interfaith representatives here who have been so valiant in standing up for the Earth for many, many years. I salute them. And also for the young people who have not given up, and they are determined to see justice done to our planet and to the people who live here. I represent my order, which is Dominican, but I want to read some words from Pope Francis who quoted from St. Francis of Assisi who had a great love for the earth. He wrote an encyclical, it’s called Laudato Si, and it comes from the first words of a beautiful prayer from St. Francis: “Praise be to you, my Lord.” In the words of this beautiful canticle, St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us and who produces various fruit and colored flowers and herbs.” Pope Francis, in speaking to us and to the world, he says “this sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the fruits which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air, and in all forms of life. This is why the Earth Herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor. She groans in travail. We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the Earth. Our very bodies are made of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.”

Blessings to everyone here. Thank you for your heart to save our planet, and in doing so we are saving ourselves.