Want to go to the climate change conference in Paris (COP21)? Then read on!

The United Nations climate change negotiations (COP21) in Paris in December will be a key moment in determining the future of our planet and its people. It will be a time when world leaders can make a real commitment to reduce carbon emissions and diminish the impacts of climate change. Catholic organizations from around the world will be making a pilgrimage to Paris to compel world leaders to agree to a binding treaty at these negotiations.

As the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada, Development and Peace will be present at this massive mobilization in Paris.

If you would like to take part in person in the Catholic call for climate justice, then start writing your very own prayer for Development and Peace’s new Prayer Contest!

This prayer should be:

  • A maximum of 100 words;
  • A reflection of our common responsibility to care for creation;
  • For the poor in the Global South who suffer the most from the impacts of climate change; and
  • A call for urgent action.

The winning prayer will be published with the author’s name as Development and Peace’s prayer card for its fall 2015 Create a Climate of Change campaign. In addition, the author of the prize-winning prayer will be part of the official Development and Peace delegation that will travel to Paris in early December 2015 to join the global Catholic mobilization around COP21.

The prayer card will be made available in both French and English and thousands of copies will be distributed across Canada! It will also be used during the Day of Action and Prayer on October 25th, 2015, when Development and Peace will ask Canadian Catholics to pray for those in the Global South who are suffering the most due to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change represents the greatest threat to eliminating poverty. It is destroying years of work accomplished by communities to improve their lives. During his visit to the Philippines last January, Pope Francis reminded us of our duty to care for creation:

“As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”

Now is the time to answer that call and be inspired! The deadline to submit your prayer is June 21st, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Participants must be 18 years or older, and there can be only one author per prayer. You can send your submission by email to the following address: prayer@devp.org. Be sure to include your name and phone number with your submission.

A jury will select the winning prayer, and the author will be contacted on July 20th, 2015.

For inspiration for your prayer, you can refer to the following resources on Development and Peace’s website:

The prayer card will be available online at the end of July and in print format at the end of August.

In the fall, a student prayer contest will also be launched for schools across Canada. Stay tuned for more information!

Rules and regulations: The contest is run by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, 3rd Floor, H3G 1T7, 1 888 234-8533. Participants must be residents of Canada and 18 years and older to be eligible. One trip to Paris, including transportation and 4 nights accommodation, will be awarded. There is no entry fee. The person who submits the prayer will be entered into the contest. Participants can only submit one prayer. Prayers must be submitted by e-mail at prayer@devp.org. All eligible entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST), June 21th, 2015. The prize winner will be selected by a jury and the winner will be contacted on July 20th, 2015. The prize is non-transferable. If the winner cannot claim the prize, another winner will be selected. Odds of winning the grand prize vary depending on the number of valid entries. Development and Peace is not responsible for prayers not received due to technical difficulties. Prayers may be used in other promotional activities of Development and Peace. Employees of Development and Peace are not eligible for participation.