May 11, 2020

The Mercy Girl Effect and Pope Francis

Every year for the past 25 years, the Mercy Girl Effect (formally the Mercy Secondary Leadership Conference) has met during the last 3 days of June for our annual conference. This year because of the Covid 19 pandemic we have had to cancel our gathering, but our Laudato Tree Project launched at last year’s conference grows on…

On Sunday May 10, 2020, Pope Francis made specific mention of our efforts as part of the Green Green Wall initiative during the Regina Caeli address. See the article below reprinted from Vatican News:

'Pope upholds solidarity initiative in Sahel region

Pope Francis recalls St. Pope John Paul II’s first Apostolic Visit to the African continent and congratulates young people striving to bring relief to the drought-stricken Sahel region.

By Linda Bordoni (Rome correspondent) reports...

Pope Francis on Sunday recalled the 40th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul’s first pastoral journey to Africa, during which he raised the alarm regarding the plight of people of the Sahel region who were struck by drought and its devastating consequences.

Speaking during the Regina Caeli address, the Pope said that on “10 May 1980 (…) St. Pope John Paul II gave voice to the cry of the populations of the Sahel, sorely tried by drought.”

The Sahel region is a climate zone sandwiched between Sudan’s Savanna to the south and the Sahara Desert to the north, across West and Central Africa. It has long experienced a series of historic droughts that have had dramatic environmental and societal effects, including famines, on the Sahel nations and their populations.

“Today,” the Pope said, “I congratulate the group of young people for the launch of the initiative Laudato Trees" explaining that “The aim is to plant at least one million trees throughout the region of the Sahel, which will become part of the “Great Green Wall of Africa”.

He concluded expressing his hope that “many will follow the example of solidarity given by these young people.”'

Thanks for all the hard work and see you next year – same time, same place, as we have done for the last 25 years – last 3 days of June, 27th– 30th,  2021.

—Maureen Christi rsm (Americas), Eileen Killeen (Merion Mercy Academy, Deirdre Mullan rsm (The Congregation)

Messages to: Deirdre Mullan rsm

You can also view the movie giving an update on the Great Green Wall available on You Tube and shown below.

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