“Plarning” at the National Catholic Youth Conference
Over 10,000 high school youth, priests, youth ministers, and chaperones descended on downtown Indianapolis, Indiana for the National Catholic Youth Conference 2021 (NCYC). Despite the limited number of attendees due to COVID-19 precautions, the Service Area of the “Village” was crawling with teens eager to spend some time putting their faith into action.
Members of the ArchIndy Creation Care Commission set up shop in the Village to teach participants how to “plarn” mats to give to people in Indianapolis experiencing homelessness.
Those who came through the booth were encouraged to explore how we can hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor through the lens of our Catholic faith. The plarning project demonstrated one concrete example of this through using recycled bags, creating something that is for those in need.
Plarning is the process of crocheting with balls of plastic bag yarn. Part of the booth was dedicated to the preparation of the plarn – separating bags collected in the past weeks by members of the commission, cutting the bags, and attaching them together to great balls of plarn. By far the biggest hit of the both was learning how to do the crocheting part. Some participants came with their whole group, others stopped by, and a few stayed to plarn for an hour or more at a time. By the end, 5 mats had made significant progress and one was completely finished. That’s an estimate of 4,000 plastic bags saved from landfills!
The Commission extends a BIG THANK YOU to all the local volunteers who helped out, Mundell and Associates for providing Earth Cube t-shirts, the Catholic Climate Covenant who provided swag and printed materials about the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, the folks at PourHouse, and Kathy Tindall for her expertise on plarning.