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From the Director: Advocating for Metanoia 

Dear Friend,

Before joining the Covenant, I advocated on Capitol Hill for bipartisan climate action for and with federally recognized Native American tribes, and then for and with the Quakers and other people of faith. During that time, I heard legislators and staffers from both parties say climate change is real, human caused, and a profound threat now and to our future.    

The partisan gridlock on climate action does not reflect what’s truly in the hearts and minds of legislators and their staff, especially younger ones. How can we help them speak their truth – a truth that needs to be spoken at a time when Congress has a profound opportunity to pass significant climate legislation (legislation that could catalyze a needed national and global change of course, away from climate catastrophe)?   

Maybe the significance of this moment will spark change. Or maybe they will listen to younger generations suffering anxiety about climate change that can only get better when Congress and other institutions are sincere about addressing it. Or maybe they will be moved by knowing just one more Senator beyond those who already support the climate provision would be the pivotal vote to begin to turn our nation and world in the direction of inspiration and action.    

But as Catholics we feel real change first starts from within, of change of heart – metanoia – of a person (or Senator’s) willingness to sweep away all other considerations and sit, stand or kneel, in quiet contemplation of the significance of his or her actions, in the pure light and love of his or her relationship with the Creator.    

That’s why we at the Covenant are blessed to work with our partners, and over 800 people from 47 states, who are meeting this week and beyond with their Senators through our Encounter for Our Common Home campaign. Committed people of faith are asking their Senators these profound questions, from our place of Catholic faith, with love of Creator, neighbor and adversary, in their hearts. They seek to share with the Senators moral and spiritual encouragement to listen to their hearts and minds, their conscience and their God, and to discern and decide for the good of all.   

If you spend (too much) time witnessing what’s going on in Capitol Hill and in our nation and world, you might be tempted to dismiss what we are trying. But faith can transcend partisanship. Hope springs eternal. Seeking to love all is to shine light where there is darkness. It may inspire our leaders to do what their hearts and minds are telling them.  

With God, everything is possible.  


Jose Aguto 
Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant

Jose Aguto photo


Catholic Climate Covenant Updates

Action of the Month: Send a message as part of the Encounter campaign for climate solutions   

If you cannot join the virtual or in-person encounters, you can still send a message to your U.S. Senators as part of the Encounter Campaign, urging them to support $555 billion in climate solutions that lower national greenhouse gas emissions and help communities build resilience against the impacts of climate change. Learn more and send a message now!  

And if you have been looking for a way to make a difference to help protect creation, we hope you joined the Encounter campaign! This week and continuing this spring and summer, U.S. Catholics are gathering to urge our Senators to address the global climate crisis. These encounters are grounded in our Catholic faith and in accord with the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform. The first phase of the campaign culminates May 2-6. If you join now, you can be kept in the loop about future actions in the coming weeks.  

Campaign sponsors include Caritas North America, Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, Catholic Climate Covenant, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Franciscan Action Network, Laudato Si' Movement, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Catholic Education Association, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ.) 

Thank you for being part of this important encounter. People of faith can make a difference!  

It’s time for our Mid-year fundraising campaign: Be a Protagonist of Transformation! 

On November 21, 2021, Pope Francis spoke with 2,000 young Catholics asking that they: "Dream and live, be free and authentic, be the critical conscience of society.” Young people across the U.S. Catholic community are answering Pope Francis’s call. With our Youth and Young Adult Mobilization Program, we are organizing, inspiring, and equipping young people to raise their voices for climate justice and to be protagonists of transformation in the Catholic Church and society—but we need your help! 

We invite you to support this important undertaking with a contribution during the month of June, with our Mid-year fundraising campaign. 

Our goal is to raise a minimum of $50,000 to: 

  • Convene young adult leaders for integral ecology retreats in at least three dioceses by summer 2023 

  • Launch our young adult integral ecology curriculum in diverse parishes and dioceses across the U.S 

  • Support a cohort of emerging youth leaders with intensive trainings in ecological spirituality, and community organizing 

  • Activate our Youth and Young Adult Mobilization network at key moments (legislative sessions and organizing related to the Laudato Si' Action Platform). 

With your help we can show dioceses, parishes, and other Catholic organizations how our program can be replicated, so that young adults throughout the Catholic community can answer the call to address climate injustice. Please join us and donate today.  

Get Ready for Laudato Si’ Week! 

Laudato Si’ Week 2022, to be held May 22-29, will mark the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on creation care. Visit the Laudato Si’ Week events page to see the latest on how to participate and to submit your own events for others to attend. We also invite you to download Catholic Climate Covenant’s interactive educational 2022 program Integral Ecology: Pursuing the Common Good for Our Common Home to help your parish or Catholic community celebrate the occasion! 

Engage Kids with a Summer VBS: Creation Care Kids! 

Our partner, the online Pastoral Center, has developed a fun Vacation Bible School curriculum for teaching creation care and Laudato Si'. Great Big Beautiful World includes daily Bible stories, sing-along music videos, activities, games, crafts, and more. A portion of proceeds support the mission of Catholic Climate Covenant. Learn more about all their Creation Care Kids tools here

Don't miss the last event in the Ecospirituality Nights Series: Young Adult Conversation with Sharon Lavigne 

Young adults ages 18-39 are invited to join the Catholic Climate Covenant young adult community for an intimate conversation with Sharon Lavigne, 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize winner and founder of the environmental justice organization RISE St. James on May 9, 2022 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET. Register here!

This will follow up on Sharon's April 11, 2022 keynote presentation regarding her work in "Cancer Alley." Attendance at the keynote is not required for participation in this conversation, but attendees are encouraged to watch a recording of the video if they were unable to attend the live session. For recordings and more information on the events in this series, you can visit our website here

Questions? Contact Desiré Findlay at   

A new Catholic creation care resource for college campuses  

Catholic Climate Covenant is happy to share a new digital toolkit for students and college campus leaders to spread the word about care for creation. This toolkit includes resources to educate others about care for creation, and when they take the St. Francis pledge, they will also receive actionable climate initiatives, creation care tips and always free resources to advocate for God’s creation and its most vulnerable members—as individuals, in a family, on campus, in a parish or other community group. Share the toolkit with your campus today! 

More Creation Care News

From the God’s Plan(et) Calendar  

The God’s Plan(et) website now has an Events Calendar with updates from Catholic Climate Covenant and our partners in parishes, youth groups, dioceses and creation care teams. Find information on teachings, engagement, outreach, programs, education, activities, and activism. And feel free to submit your own events to share with others. 

Here are a few upcoming events:  

  • St. Luke Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia, is continuing its webinar series on climate with a session on May 25 on “Reducing Energy Waste: The Quickest, Cheapest, and Most Effective Way to Care for Creation.” Learn some of the practical and effective things you can do to minimize your own and your parish’s energy footprint and corresponding energy expenses. Email address for RSVP:
  • A Franciscans For Earth Eco-Series Prayer Service on May 10 at 7 p.m. will focus on The Way of Beauty (Stations of Creation) meditation, which is based on the Stations of the Cross. The Zoom prayer service is presented courtesy of the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help as part of their ongoing ministry to Care for Creation.  Register here

And here are a few recordings of great recent events to check out!  

  • Catholic Health Association has shared a recording of its Earth Day webinar on integral ecology presented by Dr. Cristina Vanin of St. Jerome’s University. Watch a recording of “Integral Ecology – The Bond Between Justice and Caring for Creation” via this link.  
  • The Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan has shared its presentation by our own Anna Robertson about how profound ecological conversion helps us to “discover God in all things.” Watch “Rhythms of Nature, Rhythms of Faith” via this link.  

Maryland Catholics help pass new climate change laws  

Lay Catholics and their bishops helped the Maryland legislature to pass “perhaps Maryland’s most momentous legislative session on climate change in decades,” according to National Catholic Reporter. The Climate Solutions Now Act calls on the state to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2031 and to reach net-zero emissions by 2045.  Congratulations to Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home and the Maryland Catholic Conference, which made climate change one of its five priority issues and provided testimony in support of more than a dozen bills related to climate change and environmental issues. Great work all! 

Marquette University pledges to stop investments in fossil fuels  

Marquette University, a Jesuit school with a nearly $1 billion endowment, will bar investments in public securities whose primary business involves the exploration and extraction of coal, oil and gas. Marquette is also moving to "wind down" other investments in fossil fuel-related holdings. “By prohibiting direct investments in fossil fuels and following best practices in responsible investment, Marquette is heeding Pope Francis' call to 'reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals,'" said Marquette president Michael Lovell. Marquette is the seventh U.S. Catholic university -- and fifth Jesuit college or university -- to announce plans to eliminate holdings in the fossil fuel sector from its endowments and investment portfolios, according to National Catholic Reporter.  

Catholic bishop cheers White House restoration of environmental regulations 

Archbishop Paul Coakley, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said provisions being restored under the National Environmental Policy Act will serve as "a vital guardrail against ecological and social harm." 

The White House Council on Environmental Quality reinstated three provisions that require federal agencies to consider environmental impacts of infrastructure projects, including those associated with climate change. The restored regulations also will give local communities directly affected by such projects an opportunity for greater input in the approval process, according to National Catholic Reporter.  

Philly Archbishop highlights Catholics’ “duty” to protect the Earth  

On Earth Day, Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson J. Perez reminded Catholics that “as beneficiaries of God’s creation, we have a duty to protect the environment and its impact on humanity, especially the poor and vulnerable.” Archbishop Perez also commended the work of EcoPhilly, an initiative launched to build a local network of creation care teams and called “on all people of good will to follow their example.”   

Jesuitical podcast interviews Catholic Climate youth leaders about talking to the Pope  

America magazine’s Jesuitical podcast hosted Catholic Climate Covenant’s social media manager, Emily Burke, and advocacy intern, Henry Glynn, for an interview about their recent conversation with Pope Francis. The excellent podcast asked our young climate activists what it was like to speak with the pope, how they hope to get more members of the U.S. church, including priests and bishops, to make the climate a priority and how they stay hopeful in their fight for the planet. Give it a listen!  

Update on the Laudato Si Action Platform  

National Catholic Reporter has a valuable update on the Vatican’s roll out of its Laudato Si Action Platform. As of March 31, 4,579 institutions and families had registered, according to statistics the dicastery shared with working groups. Forty-five percent of enrollees to date are from English-speaking countries, with more than a quarter from North America. Early enrollees in the U.S. include one of the nation's largest healthcare systems, more than 40 Catholic colleges and universities, as well as the archdioceses of Atlanta and Indianapolis, and the dioceses of Davenport, Iowa; Worcester, Massachusetts; and Arlington, Virginia. The archdioceses of Washington, D.C. and Chicago and the Diocese of San Diego are also expected to enroll. 

Mother Nature News … coming to a front porch near you  

Inspired by the concept of the Little Free Library — an initiative that promotes free public book exchanges — Anne Walzel plans to open a free newsstand in front of her home called "Mother Nature News." Walzel will use an upcycled newsstand purchased from Impact Racks, a store that specializes in refurbished news equipment, and fill it with materials from the Catholic Climate Covenant, Take Care of Texas and books about climate change. Kudos on the great idea! 

Georgetown hosts conversation on Young Catholics and climate 

Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life hosted a conversation that included our own Anna Roberston, the director of youth and young adult mobilization at Catholic Climate Covenant, as well as Sharon Lavigne; Daniel DiLeo, a theologian who co-authored a study on U.S. Catholic bishops’ comments on climate change; and Suzana Moreira, a theologian from Brazil who is part of Laudato Si’ Movement. Watch the conversation here.  

Vatican provides guidance on caring for climate refugees  

In case you missed it, and very timely for now, the Migrants and Refugees Section and the Integral Ecology Sector of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development produced a booklet last year entitled “Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced Persons,” intended to guide the Church’s response to the phenomenon of migration caused by the climate crisis. The booklet, accessible online, reminds us that the climate crisis is not an abstract future threat, but “has a very human face,” explains the new challenges posed by the phenomena of climate disruption in many parts of the globe and suggests appropriate pastoral responses.  

Sisters Act  

Women religious are leading the way on the church’s response to global climate change. “Sisters Act” is a new newsletter feature designed to highlight and honor their leadership.  

  • The Maryknoll Sisters celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd with the Earth Day Prayer from the Catholic Climate Covenant and held an Earth Day Clean Up the following day.  

  • The Maryknoll Sisters have also joined with other Dominican Sisters Congregations to put money into the global climate fight, investing about $48 million into projects aimed at finding solutions to climate change with a focus on aiding marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by global warming. So far, investments have been made in Africa, India, Europe, the U.S., Britain and China.  

  • How should young people live with the knowledge that the world they’re inheriting is burning? That’s the profound and pragmatic question Julie Gerwe, who served for two years as the ecological sustainability–focused AmeriCorps volunteer with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, asks in this powerful piece. Julie writes that she finds hope in the example of congregations of women religious committing themselves to reducing their carbon emissions to zero. 

  • Global Sisters Report has an interesting article on the Nuns and Nones Land Justice Project, which helps religious communities think about ways to transition any un- or under-used land they own, in ways that protect and regenerate the land, repair racial harm, cultivate climate-resilient communities, and expand land access — all while caring for the needs of religious communities. Sarah Bradley, who leads the Land Justice Project's strategies and partnerships, said women religious “have a history of really taking a stand from a place of their spiritual formation and deep discernment." 

"They have an embodied history of making countercultural choices, of taking risks for a cause, of loving the world into its more just future,” Bradley added. To which we can only say, Amen!  

News from parishes and dioceses… 

The Catholic Standard in Washington, D.C., covered Laudato Trees, an archdiocesan effort created by the Washington Archdiocesan Care for Creation Committee to make it easy for faith communities to plant trees at no cost to the congregation. 

“We have the goal of spreading the message of Laudato Si’ across the archdiocese and encouraging parishes to form green teams,” said Phil Downey, a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington and a volunteer with the Laudato Trees Team. 

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma, collected old and broken crayons and dried out markers, sending them to be recycled instead of filling up landfills. Parishioners also participated in the Great American Clean-up, cleaning a mile stretch of a street in the community. 

The Creation Care Team at Blessed Sacrament in Charleston, West Virginia is featuring water quality throughout April and May, with bulletin articles on Water in Liturgy, Water in Laudato Si’, and Water quality in West Virginia. These will be followed by a field trip to the headquarters of a local organization that has done a remarkable job in "resurrecting" a nasty stream into a beautiful kayaking/canoeing stream. The parish is also going solar, with panels in the process of installation.  

Good Shepherd Church in Port Matilda, Pennsylvania, donated the tote bags made from plastic bags to homeless people sheltered at their church and held a sale of the array of items they make, donating their proceeds to the homeless shelter. Church leaders also held a postcard advocacy effort to encourage their federal representative to take action on climate change legislation. 

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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