A group of students from Mater Christi School in Burlington met with Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger at City Hall on Oct. 2 to share with him artwork that was created and signed by more than 200 Mater Christi students for the purpose of supporting initiatives to protect the environment and mitigate climate change. The artwork will be sent to the White House.

Students designed the letter as part of a school-wide project to highlight the five Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy. These concerns are the focus of the ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, a religious institute of Catholic women who have founded many educational and health care facilities throughout the world, including Mater Christi School and the former Trinity College in Burlington. The Critical Concerns include Earth along with immigration, nonviolence, racism and women.

“I believe climate change and protecting the environment is important because global warming is hurting the environment; and polar bears and penguins are losing their homes. We need to keep the environment healthy for ourselves and the animals on Earth,” said Ava Gibbs, a sixth grader.

“We need to protect our water and air so that the environment can be safe for everyone and everything,” added Henry Senesac, a second grader.

“I’m glad to have met with students from Mater Christi School this afternoon, and to see them working to address the critical issue of climate change,” said Weinberger. “It’s heartening to see engagement and activism in the next generation.”

Mater Christi School is a private PS-8 school sponsored by the Mercy Education System of the Americas, a global mission-based Catholic organization. Currently, about half of the school body is Catholic, and the other half represents a spectrum of faiths and beliefs.