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From the Founder: A month of contrasts

Dear Friend,

The contrasts for Catholic Climate Covenant’s work could not be more pronounced this month. 

On the one hand, grim statistics buffet us daily: extreme, 1-in-1,000-year heat waves and downpours in the U.S. and around the globe. Dire predictions about ocean currents, and rising sea levels. And red graphics demonstrating the damage to people, plants and animals the future holds if we can’t dial back greenhouse gas emissions.

On the other hand, we witnessed an extraordinary series of presentations on the Laudato Si’ Action Platform by knowledgeable and inspiring speakers. Our Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church conference with Creighton University began with a rousing opener featuring Christiana Figueres and ended last week by recognizing 13 individuals and organizations with our first U.S. Laudato Si’ Champion Awards. Sandwiched in between were presentations on the seven goals of the Platform. Attended by thousands of you over the last two months, the conference aimed to energize and equip Catholics with new tools, techniques and energy to continue this work.

My preferred stance is to have my eyes wide open to the dangers we face but to be humbled and inspired by the expertise, enthusiasm, and energy of the many presenters that were featured. In the end, I believe we have little choice but to embrace the hope that these good people represent, and join them in acting even as we appropriately lament about our neglect of our Common Home. 

I encourage you to join me in hope-filled action. If you missed any parts of the conference, you can watch it on our YouTube page:

You will be inspired! 

In shared faith and action,  


Dan Misleh
Catholic Climate Covenant


Catholic Climate Covenant Updates


Tell the EPA to curb power plant emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule to curb emissions from power plants and you -- yes, you -- have an important role in ensuring the rule is approved. More than 750 of you have already submitted comments!

If you haven’t yet, please raise your voice and submit a comment in support of the EPA’s new standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Generating Units. 

Carbon dioxide is a primary cause of climate change, and many power plants spew unhealthy emissions into low-income communities of color. The EPA estimates that its proposed rule would save 1,300 lives from air pollution and prevent 300,000 asthma attacks.

Submitting your support for the new rule is a practical way to respond to the cries of the Earth and of the poor, as Pope Francis has urged us to do.  

So please, be sure to submit your personalized comment before the comment period closes on August 8. Riley Talbot, our Policy and Outreach Associate, is available to answer any questions and concerns. Contact her at:

Catholic Climate Covenant announces first "U.S. Laudato Si' Champions Awards" winners

We were so pleased to announce the winners of our first "U.S. Laudato Si' Champions Awards" last Thursday evening at the conclusion of the 2023 Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church Conference. Read all about the winners here and see if your nominee won!

The ten categories recognized Catholic individuals, families, schools, businesses, dioceses, and other institutions across the United States who have made outstanding achievements in environmental sustainability and stewardship.

“These awardees honor the spirit of Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si', in prayer, word and deed. Pope Francis echoes the calls of his predecessors, for all people of good will to care for our common home and embrace an ecological conversion,” said Jose Aguto, Catholic Climate Covenant Executive Director. Read press release. View recording of awards program.

Conference on Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church concludes 

A hearty thank you to all of the participants, speakers, volunteers and viewers who took part in the  2023 Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church national conference, and especially to our partners at Creighton University for helping to host the gathering. 

If you missed any of the sessions, we have recordings (including Spanish interpretations) of each session here and on our YouTube page:

You can also read thought-provoking essays related to key speeches and the Laudato Si' Action Platform goals discussed in the conference on National Catholic Reporter’s Laudato Si' Action Platform page:

Founder Dan Misleh a nominee for 2023 Teacher of Peace Award

This year, 27 nominees were put forward for consideration for the Pax Christi USA 2023 Teacher of Peace Award, and our own Dan Misleh, founder of Catholic Climate Covenant is among them! Congratulations Dan!

Each year (with the exception of a four year hiatus between 2017-2020), Pax Christi USA honors an outstanding peacemaker in the tradition of Sr. Thea Bowman, Fr. Dan Berrigan, Cesar Chávez, Sr. Dianna Ortiz, Dorothy Day, Fr. Ray East, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Fr. Bryan Massingale, and others. Last year’s recipient was Marie Dennis.

The award recognizes women and men whose lives and work exemplify the theme of Pope Paul VI’s World Day of Peace message, “To reach peace, teach peace.” Read more from Pax Christi here.

The 2023 Feast of St. Francis Program is Coming Soon!

The 2023 Feast of St. Francis program will be available soon! This year’s theme is “The Way of Francis: Seeking Peace and Justice for All of Creation” and is a prayer and education program meant to be used as part of your Season of Creation (Sept. 1st-Oct. 4th) events or at any time that fits your community’s schedule. You can pre-register to receive the full program by mid-August!


The 2023 Feast of St. Francis program is a 90-minute (may be adapted for longer/shorter sessions) program designed to assist you, your family, parish, school, diocese, religious community, or other Catholic institution to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis (October 4th). The program will focus on the need to seek non-violence and justice for all of creation. 

New creation care communications guidebook now available

This new creation care communications guidebook is intended for communicators and non-communicators to talk about creation care with parish members, leaders, families, individuals, officials, and other audiences of faith. The guidebook is organized by objective and curated by a team of volunteer communicators during the Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church conference series co-sponsored by Catholic Climate Covenant and Creighton University. Find guidebook here.

Ecology curriculum for young adults

We are pleased to share that Wholemakers, our ecology curriculum for young adults, has been downloaded by more than 500 folks. You can be one of them!

Wholemakers is a 10-session curriculum on integral ecology for use in young adult ministry that weaves together climate science with insights from Catholic tradition.

It was created and vetted by a consortium of young adults, theologians, and experts from Catholic Climate Covenant, Maryknoll, and the USCCB among other institutions. Check it out! 

Wholemakers Facilitator Training

Join a Facilitator Training webinar on August 8 to learn best practices for promoting and facilitating Wholemakers, a new integral ecology resource for young adults. Trainings are one hour and will be held throughout the summer. Learn more here:

Join Encounter, our national campaign for climate solutions

Encounter for Our Common Home is an ongoing national campaign that brings together Catholics across the country to urge our U.S. Senators to enact authentic solutions to the climate crisis. These virtual and in-person encounters with our Senators come from the foundation of our Catholic faith and in accordance with the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

We are a coalition of U.S. Catholic groups working together for our Common Home, and Encounter leaders continue to emerge and help lead us. Join Catholic Climate Covenant and our U.S. Catholic partners for this national campaign for climate solutions. This is an advocacy effort in concert with the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform (LSAP) activities in the United States.



Franciscan Justice Leadership Conference

Our partners at Franciscan Action Network are hosting a Franciscan Justice Leadership Conference October 13-16  in Washington, DC. This conference will be centered on answering the call from Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, to inspire advocacy for creation, especially recognizing the disproportionate effects of environmental degradation on people of color and those in poverty. The gathering is cosponsored by the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities and will include remarks by keynote speakers Fr. Michael Perry, OFM & Sr. Joan Brown, OSF, leadership and advocacy training, and meetings with U.S. congressional representatives to bring our authentic voices to the challenges facing our communities and common home. Registration is open and spaces are limited!

Sisters Act! 

The School Sisters of Notre Dame are sharing plans for Year Two of their participation in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. The plans focus on engaging others through education, advocacy and action. 

“It is about deepening our efforts to live ever more mindfully – more simply, responsibly, and sustainably, in solidarity with all creation – and encouraging others to join this global journey of transformation,” the sisters say. 

The sisters are sharing their tools for engagement via the Shalom News North America monthly newsletter, Shalom Action Alerts, and other sources. You can also watch a short video about the sisters’ inspiring plans:

More Creation Care News

Biden administration encourages faith communities to apply for green tax credits 

Before 2022, churches and other nonprofits did not qualify for tax credits tied to clean energy projects. But a provision in last year's historic climate law changes that and equips faith communities to lead the way on climate protection, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told faith leaders in a webinar co-organized by Catholic Climate Covenant. 

“Direct” or “elective” pay, included in the Inflation Reduction Act, allows organizations that do not pay taxes to receive a direct payment from the IRS equal to the eligible tax credit discount.

In a prerecorded message during a July 18 briefing for congregations hosted by Interfaith Power & Light, Granholm called direct pay "a real game changer" for houses of worship to lower the costs of projects that produce or store clean energy.

The webinar, which was co-sponsored by Catholic Climate Covenant, Creation Justice Ministries and other faith organizations, featured officials from the Department of Energy, including staff from the newly created Office of State and Community Energy Programs. Read more about the webinar at National Catholic Reporter

Climate Resources from JustFaith Ministries for your parish or CCT

Just Action! offers parishes resources to mobilize parishioners and resources for climate action. 

How can parishes form and inspire parishioners to respond to the climate crisis and care for our common home? JustFaith Ministries three-program eco-justice series explores our sacred connection with land, air, and water. Using a small group format, it guides parishes in discerning how they can contribute to the healing of our common home. 

  • In Sacred Land: Food and Farming, small groups learn how food and farming practices affect the climate crisis, marginalized communities, and their own health and spiritual well-being. 

  • In Sacred Air: Climate and Energy, participants explore the impact of the climate crisis on God's creation and God's people. 

  • Sacred Water: Oceans and Ecosystems equips participants to explore the health of our oceans, waterways, and ecosystems through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and daily decision-making.

And are members of your parish ready to take action on climate justice, but they don't know where to begin? Using scriptural grounding, reflection on past and present social movements, and wisdom from successful community advocates, JustFaith Ministries program Just Action! How to Advocate and Mobilize for Justice provides participants with the tools they need to make significant and lasting change within their communities. 

Bishop calls on Catholics to support proposed EPA rule 

Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of Tucson published an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star, a state suffering through sweltering heat this summer, calling on Catholics -- and all people -- to take collective action to “stabilize the climate.” Specifically, the bishop echoed Catholic Climate Covenant’s call for Catholics to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s new standards for carbon pollution from power plants. 

“I encourage all people of good will to let their voices be heard by the EPA during its public comment period on the carbon pollution rule from now until August 8,” Weisenburger writes. “Faith teaches me that we have a moral duty to create a healthier, safer world. Hope inspires me to action.” 

Native Americans fight to protect sacred land from copper mine

A battle is ongoing in Superior, Arizona, between people who want to construct a large copper mine and Native Americans fighting to protect land they consider sacred. The Oak Flat Campground is on Tonto National Forest property. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona reintroduced legislation seeking to stop a land transfer allowing copper extraction, but it has not moved in Congress.

Seattle University becomes the first Catholic, Jesuit university to fully divest from fossil fuels

As of June 30, 2023, Seattle University (SU) has withdrawn all investments in fossil fuel companies from its endowment portfolio, becoming the first university in Washington state and the first Catholic, Jesuit university in the country to fulfill their commitment to divest from fossil fuels. SU is now charting a new course of socially conscious investing.

SU is a leader in the divestment and sustainability movements globally and nationally. In 2018, SU became the first Jesuit university in the country to pledge 100 percent withdrawal from publicly traded fossil fuel investments. Since then, six other Jesuit universities followed SU’s lead and made some level of commitment to divest, according to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Read full story from ISN.

Climate disasters more common with global warming, experts say 

Weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion in damage are on the upswing in the United States, according to a Climate Central analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 1980, the average time between billion-dollar disasters was 82 days. From 2018-22, the average time between these most extreme events, even controlled for inflation, was just 18 days. “Climate change is here, now,” Michael Mann, a climate scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, told The New York Times. “It’s not far away in the Antarctic and it’s not off in the future. It’s these climate change fueled extreme weather events that we are all living through.”

Make your congregation certifiably cool 

If your house of worship has taken steps to reduce your energy use and carbon emissions - apply to be a Certified Cool Congregation! Get recognized by Interfaith Power & LIght for your accomplishments with this national honor and inspire others. Emissions reductions of 10% or more qualify. Achieving a national certification as a Cool Congregation demonstrates leadership in your community by showing that it is possible to reduce emissions, care for our common home, and often save money in the process. By getting certified, your congregation is building the movement of people of faith and conscience, showing the world that we can take concrete and achievable steps to safeguard the climate for future generations.

Apply to be certified today!

Interdiocesan Creation Care Network  

Parish Green kits

St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City, a participant in the Victory Noll Sisters Small Grants Program, offered each household in the parish a free kit with native plant seedlings, a kitchen compost container, and LED bulbs.

The 162 native plants arrived just in time for Laudato Si Week in late May, and more than thirty households signed up in this inaugural effort. 

Well, done all!

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 20 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.

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Catholic Climate Covenant
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Franciscan Monastery Attn: Catholic Climate Covenant
Washington, District of Columbia 20017

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