Barefoot gatherings were held at opposite ends of the country to honour St Francis Day, 2011 and pray for deeper respect of God’s creation.
To honour St Francis Day, Caritas members from around Oceania gathered barefoot (photo above) before a Mass at Long Beach, Auckland. Twenty-five representatives from Caritas member organisations met in Auckland 3-7 October to discuss issues such as climate change, large-scale mining and resource exploitation, and what Caritas and the Church is doing and should be doing in response to these challenges.
‘There were 12 of us, of all ages and denominations, and we had a very simple ceremony - a welcome, reading 'On Holy Ground' from the Old Testament, removing of shoes for some, putting forward symbols of spring, life, hope, healing; prayers, reading of the St Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor and then we sang the St Francis song with Greg on guitar. For me, the simplicity, and the real physical connection with the damp grass, did create a deep sense of peace and connection.’ – Nicky Chapman
Prayers included prayers for Tuvalu and Tokelau, experiencing water shortages due to drought.