During this pandemic I have been thinking and focusing a lot on the idea of the Sabbath. Our forced isolation has afforded some the opportunity to rest, reflect, and slow down. We may have cultivated a spirit of stillness, of doing less, and of acquiring less, and have used this as an entry point to creation care. We need this space to allow God in, experience God’s love, and appreciate the magnitude of Creation, which includes you and me.
This will be a pivotal year for Catholic Climate Covenant: we just launched a new youth program; we seek a more intentional focus on environmental justice; we wish to integrate environmental sustainability into all sectors of the U.S. Catholic community; and to weave Laudato Si’ into seven ministries of our Church. Each project, program and initiative must be grounded in contemplation, reflect our appreciation of God’s good gift of creation, and spurred by our love for one another.
This Lent gives us a renewed opportunity for reflection and contemplation on how we protect God’s creation, big and small. Even as we rest in this Sabbath time and reflect on Jesus’s sacrifice for us this Lent, let us also ready ourselves as Easter people and emerge this Spring ready to act for Our Common Home. The work is urgent. Let us prepare.
Finally, you will note that we are also consider doing more with less. We are trying a new format for our newsletter this month. Drop us a line to let us know what you think, and if it’s helpful.
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Catholic Climate Covenant updates
Youth Program Launch: The Covenant launched program activities for its new Youth and Young Adults Mobilization effort of young Catholics across the country with “Emergence: A Creation Care Gathering for Young Catholics” on Feb 23rd. Seventy-five young adults gathered to pray, share thoughts on creation care, and envision the future of the new program. In a related blog by Anna Robertson, Director of the new program, says: “This moment needs you, exactly as you are. Come with all of your doubts, your brokenheartedness, your messy and lovely ways of being in process, and help this moment become a movement.” As the next step, the Covenant invites young adults to consider submitting an application to participate in the “Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church” Youth and Young Adult Track.
Uplifting Event: On March 9 at 4:15 pm, you are invited to an ecumenical and interreligious creation care conversation with the Most Rev. Joseph Tyson, Bishop of Yakima and Episcopal Advisor to the Covenant; Bishop Marc Handley Andrus of the Episcopal Church; Rev. Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; Bishop Sally Dyck of the United Methodist Church and Fr. Walter F. Kedjierski of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The conversation explores the new interreligious creation care guidebook published jointly by the USCCB, the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, and Catholic Climate Covenant. Register here: Online Dialogue in Celebration of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Guidebook: Care for our Common Home.
Earth Day Program Coming Soon: The theme for this year’s Earth Day program is “Restore Our Common Home”, a theme that will address how as people of faith we must urgently act to not only protect but restore God’s beautiful gift of creation. The one-hour educational and prayer program will contain prayers, readings, discussion questions, a short video, and suggested activities, and be the perfect way for our families, parishes, schools, and religious communities to prepare for the Vatican’s launch of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan in May 2021. Sign up here to receive the program in your inbox by mid-March.
EJ Webinar Recap: The second in a multipart series, A Laudato Si’ Focus on Environmental and Climate Justice was held February 22 and featured three environmental justice leaders working with their communities in Detroit, Stockton and Newark to attain environmental and economic justice. A technical glitch means there is no recording, but you can see the slides and data presented by the speakers.
Solar Financing, Explained: Mission Energy, the solar development company running the Covenant’s Catholic Energies program, addresses solar financing questions in a recent episode of its Empowering Good podcast. We welcome you to learn more about the practical financial considerations of going solar in this episode, where Mission Energy’s Chief Investment Officer, Robert Quist, helps distill layered and complex financial considerations down to hard nickels and dimes.
Season of Lent: From a sustainable suppers webinar to Lenten calendars that accompany you in the season with prayers, reflections and actions, visit the Covenant’s Lent Resources page to find inspiring programs, words, webinars and events.
Meatless Mondays Challenge: To date, the Mercy Earth Challenge seasons have focused on exploring Laudato Si’, conserving water, examining food choices, shopping sustainably, and reducing our use of plastic. For Lent 2021, the final season of the Mercy Earth Challenge returns to Mercy Meatless Mondays with a cookbook and another challenge.
Lenten Food Waste Fast: The Ignatian Solidarity Network is organizing a Lenten Food Waste Fast which includes an individual challenge such as: Organize your fridge and store your food in a way that will prevent it from spoiling; and a Group Challenge such as: Make a plan for the future of how you can share food throughout your school, parish, or organization.
Overcoming Poverty as a Moral Imperative: Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life hosted a webinar on March 1st exploring the human, moral, and other costs of U.S. poverty and how to make overcoming poverty an urgent national priority. View video recording here.
Lenten Reflections on the Care for Creation are daily reflections to helps us see, judge and act on the effects of climate change on creation for the 40 days of Lent produced by Fr. Emmet Farrell and edited by Mr. Roman Fernandez, from the Diocese of San Diego Creation Care Network.
Opportunity for interfaith action: Sacred People, Sacred Earth—a global and multi-faith grassroots Day of Action for climate justice invites Catholics in the Washington, D.C. region to a day of interfaith climate action on March 11. Led by the Greenfaith International Network, Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth (UUMFE), and Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA), with a growing number of Washington-area faith communities, they will gather at the Washington Monument at 11 am on March 11 to sound the alarm about the climate crisis and call on national leaders to act. They will be joining hundreds of actions around the world to show that people of faith want bold, compassionate solutions on climate change, supporting Ten Demands, including an end to fossil fuels and deforestation, self-determination for indigenous communities, renewable energy, increased global financing, and much more.
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.
Catholic Climate Covenant
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