We Ursulines have Sisters in the Philippines. Most are in Manila. We have heard that they are safe and reaching out to their people in the different islands. I visited them a few years ago, when they worked in what was the Smokey Mountain area of the city. They tutored children and worked with families living in the shadows of an ever-burning mountain of garbage. I remember being afraid, concerned about breathing the rancid air. That fear dissolved when I met the people—energetic, faith-filled, struggling to live better lives and provide adequately for their children. I was struck by the differences between their circumstances and my own. Why does it happen this way?
Our brothers and sisters in the Philippines are living with unthinkable challenges now. Last Monday, Yeb Sano, delegate from the Philippines to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland, said, “climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce.” He is now fasting until the UN makes real progress on a plan to solve the climate crisis.
We are all connected in this world that is actually quite small. As we approach our Thanksgiving feasts, let’s reflect on the outreach and fasting that we might do to show our real solidarity as members of a worldwide family.