From the Director: An Easter Message
There is hope in the air these days. The Lord has risen. Spring has arrived. The vaccine is getting into people’s arms. There are reasons on the horizon to be optimistic as new national climate action and policies come into view.
But today’s reading reminds us that we must keep our eyes open to see Jesus in front of us. Even as Jesus was walking with two of his disciples, they didn’t recognize him. In time, Jesus revealed himself to the disciples and, with hearts burning, they realized that Jesus had, in fact, risen.
The Road to Emmaus story brought to mind an extraordinary document release last week by the Vatican: The Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People. Pope Francis adapted a Shakespearian quote, “To see or not to see. That is the question,” when speaking of this document and urged us to open our eyes to see the reality of both climate change and climate refugees. This booklet helps guide the Church’s response to these climate migrants. Below you will find a recording of a related USCCB webinar featuring our own Dan DiLeo.
In recent months, Covenant staff and partners have more intentionally focused on the work that is needed—both internally and programmatically—to see each other, and others. We know that we cannot ignore the suffering of Central American families coming to our borders and fleeing devastation caused by floods and drought. We know we must see that U.S. Black, Asian, Native American and Latino communities are heavily burdened by environmental degradation. We know that for many of us, our own souls are tainted by the racism in our society and, knowingly or unknowingly, we sometimes perpetuate this racism. Our silence or ignorance means we do not truly see the living Christ among us.
We are on a journey that is long, and we are grateful you are with us. There is hope because Christ, through whom all things were made, has been raised up to new life. There are daily resurrections when we truly see Christ among us. There is hope in all people of good will committed to restoring creation and respecting the sacredness of all life. This is integral ecology and integral ecology requires all of each of us, and each of all of us. This is the springtime of our faith, and of our work.
And like the beautiful explosion of life in Spring, our work this month also blooms anew. Join us!
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Catholic Climate Covenant Updates
Earth Day Program Interactive Recording Now Available
This year’s Earth Day program, “Restore Our Common Home”, is a one-hour creation care program that includes prayers, readings, a short video, discussion questions, and suggested actions, and it is easily downloaded at the link. Usually intended for large gatherings, we know this year is still different, so we also created an online version of the program for use at home by yourself or with others online. We are happy to announce a pre-recorded Earth Day 2021 program is now available – it’s an authentic live run-through of the program with staff from Catholic Climate Covenant. Whether you are a facilitator wishing to see how the program works, or an individual who would like to follow the program along interactively with others, the recording is sure to be helpful. Check it out! If you have questions, contact Paz Artaza-Regan (Paz@CatholicClimateCovenant.org)
*TODAY* April 7th at 2 pm Eastern: Sacred Land, Sacred Spaces Webinar
In the spirit of encounter and of Laudato Si’, the Catholic Climate Covenant invites you to this webinar TODAY at 2 p.m. Eastern featuring Deborah Echo-Hawk, Ronnie O’Brien, and Nikki Cooley, and the dedication they share to the well-being of Native American tribal nations and peoples, and the lands, territories and cultures they hold sacred. Register and read more here.
Special Film Screening followed by panel discussion, April 20, 7 p.m. Eastern
Catholic Climate Covenant is honored to host an online screening and panel discussion on Tuesday, April 20th at 7 p.m. Eastern of the award-winning documentary The Condor and the Eagle, a film that follows four Indigenous leaders embarking on a transcontinental adventure from the Canadian boreal forests to the heart of the Amazon jungle to document the Indigenous struggle to protect land and water. For the post-film discussion, the Covenant is pleased to host two of the film’s protagonists – Casey Camp-Horinek and Bryan Parras – as well as Sarah James, a Neets’aii Gwich’in elder and internationally known figure raising awareness for and protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The film screening is donation-based, with proceeds benefiting impacted communities.
Lobby for Climate Justice on April 21
Catholic Climate Covenant is pleased to co-sponsor and participate in Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD), an annual gathering of Christian advocates who worship, delve deeply and then advocate before their representatives in Congress on the pressing issues of the day. This year’s conference will take place virtually, on April 18-21, including a virtual lobby day on Wednesday, April 21st. This year’s theme is “Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored” in support of national and global movements to be guided by and support peoples and communities disproportionally subject to environmental injustice and the impacts of climate change. EAD is a centering place for people of faith to advocate and reimagine a world that lives out the values of justice, equity and the beloved community. Click here for more information and to register.
Catholic Climate Covenant is seeking a Director of Development
The Development Director coordinates activities with both the Executive Director and Associate Director of Catholic Climate Covenant. The development director creates and oversees the implementation and messaging for a strategic approach to fundraising which includes major gifts, annual giving, planned giving and grant solicitation. Catholic Climate Covenant offers health insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave. Salary will be commensurate with experience. See job description for full details.
Photo Credit: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Justice for Immigrants campaign
Church offers guidelines and discussions for response to climate migration
The Vatican last week released “Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced Persons,” a booklet intended to guide the Church’s response to the phenomenon of migration caused by the climate crisis. In addition, Daniel DiLeo, an assistant theology professor at Creighton University and a Covenant consultant, was recently a panelist on a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops webinar to discuss Climate Change, Forced Migration, and the Catholic Church. You can view a recording of that important discussion here.
U.S. Catholic organizations encourage the public to get vaccinated
Today, on World Health Day, a coalition of 28 U.S. Catholic organizations including Catholic Climate Covenant are announcing their unified support to encourage their members and supporters (You!) and faith communities to embrace vaccinations as they become available as an act of charity and solidarity with others that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and build immunity against the virus. Learn more, find resources and get involved in promoting this message here! Also, find social media resources at the website and use #CatholicCares to show your support on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… etc…
21-Day Catholic Environmental Justice Challenge, April 23-May 16
Learn, Pray, and Act for Environmental Justice with Ignatian Solidarity Network, the Covenant and partners Global Catholic Climate Movement, Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Equality, and Sisters of Mercy. For 21 days, you will be challenged to enter into the complex work of understanding the connections between environmental injustices that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), as well as low-income communities, among others. Learn more and sign up for the daily challenge emails here.
2021 Earth Day Resources from Catholic Health Association
Earth Day is annually commemorated on April 22. For Catholic health ministries, this is an opportunity to reignite our commitment to stewardship of the resources entrusted to us and to more greatly consider the role of environmental in our justice efforts and as we address the social determinants of health. For this event, CHA is pleased to provide several resources as well as highlighting sources of inspiration and education on the topic of environmental responsibility and climate change. See resources, reflections, videos and more here.
Franceso streaming now
FRANCESCO - The Pope Francis documentary from Oscar-nominated director and producer, Evgeny Afineevksy features unprecedented access to His Holiness, Pope Francis, and includes teachings from Laudato Si’ and care for creation and the poor. It had a nationwide Virtual Cinema Release on March 26 and is streaming now on discovery+. Watch the trailer here.
Interreligious Dialogue on Creation Care Recording
If you missed the first dialogue in Celebration of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Guidebook: Care for Our Common Home you can now see a recording with Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the AJC; and Imam Saffet Abid Catovic, a long-time American Muslim Community Organizer/Activist and Environmental Leader – all in an online conversation hosted and facilitated by Fr. Walter F. Kedjierski, USCCB, Executive Director, Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs to celebrate the publishing of the new guidebook. View the lively conversation here.
Bilingual Earth Week Mass April 17, 2p.m. Pacific
Join Most Rev. Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of San Diego for a bilingual Earth Week Mass to thank our creator for all his gifts on Saturday, April 17, at 2 pm. Pacific. The mass will be held at St. James Parish in Solana Beach, CA, and also livestreamed. Register here to receive the livestream link.
Fordham Webinar April 21, 1 pm Eastern
Today, less than two-percent of working farms are owned by Black Americans. Activists, gardeners, authors, and farmers are re-discovering Black America’s rich agricultural heritage and its roots in spirituality and religious traditions. They are advocating for a new and empowering relationship with food production and the natural world. To mark Earth Day, Soul Fire Farm, “an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system”, will join the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture for a discussion to explore these issues and how the audience themselves might work toward a more equitable food system. Click here to register.
The Art of Caring for Creation
If you’d like to enjoy an artistic getaway, take a look at this recent blog, The Art of Caring for Creation, from Casey Murano. She is a senior about to graduate from the University of Richmond with a major in art and minor in geography. In her art practice, she uses plein air painting and other practices to promote environmental justice through the lens of faith. In this piece she mixes reflections, her art and a video blog to deliver a respite, inspiration and observations on God’s creation and our connection to it.
Catholic Climate Covenant provides all its programs and resources free of charge. We rely on the generosity of our supporters to inspire and equip people and institutions to care for creation and care for the poor. Through our 19 national partners, we guide the U.S. Church's response to climate change by educating, giving public witness, and offering resources. Thank you for giving to care for creation and care for the poor.
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