In an expletive-filled Facebook posting in the early evening of January 6, the day American citizens attempted to stop, with brute force, the confirmation of state electoral votes, a friend aimed her verbal fire at her Republican friends and family. While it was several degrees less shocking than what had just transpired at the Capitol, I found it shocking nonetheless. Physical and verbal violence seem to be the coin of the realm these days and few of us are willing to take a deep breath, calm ourselves and ask the deeper questions of why all this rage?
In this situation, as in much of life, few of us have—but I venture to say all of us desire—simple answers to these complexities. But what we do have is a faith, a tradition, and a model for moving forward. As Catholic Christians, the roadmap leading out of this morass is Jesus’ own life and teaching. His answer is simple yet requires sacrifice. The answer is love. The sacrifice is to freely give of ourselves in pursuit of love: of ourselves, of one another and of God. Am I angry at what happened on Wednesday? Yes indeed. But I also know that this anger has to yield to humility, understanding and dialogue. Ranting is temporarily satisfying for sure. But only when we look at the “other” as kin, can we begin the journey toward healing and truth.
Only love can heal. God grant us the courage to pursue peace through love.
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Read this message and start with one action
Don’t know where to start? Read this message from Executive Director Dan Misleh and then take the right action for you in 2021!: What Catholics Can Do to Help Address Climate Change
“One question I get asked often is “What can I do?” to address climate change. As we face this new year ahead, focused on how we will individually and collectively help build a better world, I’d like to share some resources and ideas on how to begin taking action right now. It’s up to you and me to build a better world.”
Please let us know what you’re doing and don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff for help! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Catholics Leading the Way
We surpassed the fundraising goal for our 2021 work ahead – Thank YOU!
In the midst of a challenging year, we had a more modest goal than in years past for our End-of-Year fundraising campaign – to raise $50,000 at the end of 2020. Thanks to you, our loyal supporters, we are pleased to say we surpassed the goal! You helped us raise nearly $64,000 with your generous donations. Thank you for your trust and support so that we may continue our work ahead.
In 2021 we plan to:
- Assist the Vatican implement their Laudato Si’ Action Platform in the U.S. and work with our partners to develop seven-year sustainability plans;
- Continue accelerating our Catholic Energies program with dozens of new solar and energy efficiency projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution while saving on energy bills;
- With our partners, ensure that the voice of the Catholic community is heard as a new administration and Congress roll out environmental policies;
- Host the second (of three) national conferences to help ministry professionals in eight areas more fully integrate Laudato Si’ into their work;
- Grow our new Youth and Young Adult program to help them connect their passion for environmental justice with their Catholic faith;
- Continue to provide top-notch educational programs like the hour-long, community-ready Earth Day and Feast of St. Francis resources—available for free, as always.
USCCB Online Book Launch & Webinar
Join the Covenant and our partners for a virtual book launch and webinar for the brand new Ecumenical and Interreligious Guidebook: CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME. The guidebook is jointly published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, and Catholic Climate Covenant. The virtual publication launch and webinar will be held on January 25, from 11 a.m. to Noon Eastern. Click here to register and for the webinar link.
Speakers will include Fr. Walter F. Kedjierski from USCCB; Sister Pamela Smith, SS.C.M. from the Diocese of Charleston; Fr. John Chryssavgis from the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; and Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, SDB, from the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Video: What Now for Catholic Action on Climate Change and Creation Care?
Watch a recording of “What Now for Catholic Action on Climate Change and Creation Care?” the Covenant’s most recent webinar that offers an overview of the landscape of climate change and creation care legislation in the Biden Administration and the next Congress. In the webinar, speakers Meghan E. Goodwin from USCCB; Chloe Noel from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; and Rebecca Eastwood from the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach outlined legislative and policy priorities going into 2021. Watch the recording here.
Hope for Creation Submissions Continue
The Covenant continues its Hope for Creation virtual initiative in these challenging days to uplift each other with prayers, meditations, stories, essays, statements, reflections, art, poems, songs, photos, videos, etc. to celebrate creation, and each other. Share the Hope for Creation initiative with friends, school, or your parish. It continues throughout Laudato Si’ Year, through May 24, 2021. (Art from "Time for Pause," submitted by Mai, CA.)
Faithful Action on Climate Change
Creighton University announces it will fully divest from fossil fuels
“Creighton University announced it plans to phase out all investments in fossil fuels from its $587 million endowment within the next 10 years and target new investments in sustainable energy” wrote reporter Brian Roewe in a National Catholic Reporter story on the announcement.
“Under the new investment policy, Creighton will sell off public securities of fossil fuel companies within five years and end holdings in private fossil fuel investments within 10 years. At the same time, it plans to seek out new investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
In a statement, Creighton President, Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, said: “This modified policy signifies our strong commitment to sustainable investing – and sustainability in general across the University.”
In the NCR story, Roewe adds: “Besides Creighton, three other Catholic schools in the U.S. — the University of Dayton, Seattle University and Georgetown University — have publicly committed to divesting their endowments of fossil fuels. In December, alumni of Boston College asked the Massachusetts attorney general to investigate the school's investments in fossil fuels, arguing that continuing to hold such stocks went against the college's fiduciary responsibilities and its mission as a Jesuit and Catholic school.”
Halki Summit IV - COVID-19 and Climate Change: Living with and Learning from a Pandemic
COVID-19 has lowered global carbon emissions; but it hasn’t slowed climate change. Our response to COVID-19 has precipitated the discovery of a vaccine, but it has left the world with a staggering number of deaths. The pandemic of Covid-19 has permanently affected our planet and altered our lives. The world has wrestled to survive and learned to live with the coronavirus. But what are the lessons that we have learned? What have been the impact on nature and the environment? What have been the implications for healthcare? And what have we understood about the relevance and importance of science? This year’s Halki Summit IV will explore these questions with speakers over the course of three days. This registration will allow you to register once for all sessions. The Halki Summit is a gathering of activists, scientists, journalists, business leaders, theologians, and academics engaging and working across intellectual boundaries to bring the global environmental discussion to a new and richer place.
Session 1: Impact on Nature - January 26, 2020 @ 8:00 PM EST
Session 2: Importance of Science - January 27, 2020 @ 8:00 PM EST
Session 3: Implications for Health - January 28, 2020 @ 8:00 PM EST
A 2021 calendar to walk together for Creation
As we continue the “Year of St. Joseph,” as Pope Francis recently proclaimed, the Global Catholic Climate Movement has produced a new 12-month calendar that will help us walk together in our ecological conversion journey in 2021. The calendar features key GCCM moments, saints to inspire our journey, and eco-martyrs to remember those who have given their life doing what God asks us all to do: to love and protect creation. You can click here to download the free PDF calendar for January 2021.
Webinar: Faith and the Faithful in a Time of National Crisis and New Leadership
The Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University presents an online dialogue: Faith and the Faithful in a Time of National Crisis and New Leadership on Thursday, January 14 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. In the midst of violence and attacks on democracy itself, an ongoing pandemic and economic crisis, and a racial reckoning and bitter divisions, how should diverse parts of the Christian community assess their responsibilities for the current crisis, explore ways faith and the faithful can lift up the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40), and contribute to the common good, working with a new administration and a new Congress? Religious values and voters were at the center of the 2020 election. How will faith and the faithful shape the agendas and actions of the Biden-Harris administration and the 117th Congress? To RSVP visit here.
Loyola University Chicago Launches New School of Environmental Sustainability
Loyola University Chicago has formally announced the launch of its new School of Environmental Sustainability (SES), the first-ever school dedicated to environmental sustainability across Jesuit institutions worldwide. At the helm of the school is Covenant board member, Nancy Tuchman, Ph.D. The new school builds on the strong foundation of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES). In the Institute’s seven years, IES has demonstrated success at the undergraduate level and more recently at the graduate level, putting Loyola on the map as a leader in environmental sustainability. Other notable achievements of the Institute include the founding of its annual Climate Change Conference, the establishment of a student-run farmer’s market and greenhouse, and developing hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more from ISN here.
Vatican commits to reducing net emissions to zero before 2050
In his recent video message, Pope Francis said the Vatican is committed to reducing net emissions to zero before 2050, intensifying environmental efforts that have been in process for some years. He also repeated the Vatican’s commitment to promoting education in integral ecology, announcing the Global Education Pact to accompany Catholic schools and universities, attended by more than seventy million students in all continents. Finally, Pope Francis shared his support for the "Economy of Francesco", through which young economists, businesspeople, and experts in finance and the workforce promote new solutions to overcome energy poverty, and which place care for common goods at the center of national and international politics, and favor sustainable production in countries with a low income. Watch the address here.
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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