Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, and though some Catholics will be giving up sugar or coffee or junk food, others will be taking the 40-day test of self control one step further. They’ll be giving up food (or at least one meal) for at least one day during Lent, and will be doing so as a call for action on climate change.
During the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice, participating Catholics from 45 countries will abstain from food for one day, with the date of the fast depending on what country the participant is from. Americans will be fasting on March 16. This fast will be held in addition to the two other traditional fasting days during Lent: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
The group organizing the fast, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, is also encouraging participants to abstain from activities that produce carbon emissions or waste during their fasting day. It’s also encouraging participants to pray for “the urgent solution of the climate change crisis” and for “easing the suffering of the poor and those affected by disease and severe weather” during their fasting day.
‘The essential message is reduce our carbon footprint and increase our spiritual footprint,’ Jacqui Rémond, director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, which is organizing Australia’s fast, said.
— Katie Valentine, Think Progress
Learn more at The Global Catholic Climate Movement.