From the Director: These Critical Days

Dear Friend,

I feel blessed to share my thoughts with you in this new position, praying to Our Creator to accompany and serve you in the spirit of servant leadership. The Covenant will soon announce opportunities for us to dialogue with and learn from you in smaller setting – our hopes, concerns, inspirations and ideas on how we can continue to lift of care for creation as an integral part of our faith within the Church and in our faith-filled engagement and witness with our neighbors everywhere, in keeping with Jesus’ commandments that we love our neighbors, and our enemies (Lk 6:27). No small task.

Now today, with the Build Back Better legislation and UN climate negotiations before us, it’s not a stretch to say that the fate of the free world may depend on the actions our leaders take this month. With that in mind, I took to prayer. On October 20, I joined a 12-hour vigil in front of the U.S. Capitol with a contingent of interfaith leaders. We prayed and called upon Congress to support the once-in-a-generation opportunity offered through the Build Back Better legislation, to uplift the life and dignity of our vulnerable neighbors and our children yet to be born.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis and President Joe Biden met at the Vatican, where climate was a key topic of discussion, and world leaders prepared for the highly anticipated climate conference known as COP26, being held now in Glasgow, Scotland beginning October 31 and continuing through Nov. 12. 

As I wrote in a recent column in NCR, “We ask ourselves — and our brothers and sisters in Congress and our church — to rise above our differences and personal ambitions and see the greatest commandment that God has placed in each of our souls: to love God our Creator, and our neighbor — whether at home or abroad — as ourselves. In today's times especially, honoring this commandment is critical for each of us, for every person of faith. Our future depends on it.”

May God bless you in your steadfast commitment to our shared journey.  We are so grateful and blessed to walk with you.


Jose Aguto         
Executive Director      
Catholic Climate Covenant


Catholic Climate Covenant Updates 

Action of the Month: A global Catholic vigil to pray for solutions at COP26

Along with many partners, Catholic Climate Covenant is participating in "24 Hours for the Climate," a global vigil for Catholics and other people of faith to pray and advocate for the success of COP26, which runs from October 31 - November 12.

On November 5-6th, the vigil will be broadcast live and will include commentary from communities suffering from climate change, prayers for the future of our common home and messages to be delivered to COP26 negotiators. A prayer themed around God's creation and ecological spirituality will be broadcast every hour. These 48 broadcasts will be hosted by different countries from around the world. 

The vigil will be broadcast from November 5 starting at 11am GMT (7 a.m. Eastern) to November 6 at 11am GMT (7 a.m. Eastern.) You can participate in the vigil by watching the broadcast (RSVP to receive the link) and by sharing and encouraging your friend and neighbors to share their own "climate story," which will be sent to COP26 negotiators.

We invite you to share your story and RSVP today!

Catholic Climate Covenant delivers messages to Biden Administration, Vatican, and Congress

Catholic Climate Covenant delivered a petition signed by thousands of Catholics and a letter endorsed by some 200 U.S. Catholic institutions to the White House, Capitol Hill and the Vatican, ahead of the key meeting between President Biden and Pope Francis and COP26, the United Nations summit on climate change. 

“As Catholic institutions, organizations, communities, and individuals in the United States, we recognize global climate change as an urgent moral issue that threatens the life and dignity of present and future generations, adds to the hardships already experienced by the poorest and most vulnerable people domestically and abroad, and degrades Earth, our common home,” the letter says. “These values compel us to urge you to enact ambitious national solutions that address the sources and threats of climate change in advance of international climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, later this year. U.S. and global leadership and ambition are critical if humanity is to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, whose Archdiocese of Indianapolis was one of the letter’s first signatories, quoted one of his favorite lines from Laudato Si’, the Pope’s ecological encyclical. “‘Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise. Contemplation of this great mystery of creation must also be balanced with action to care for the earth, taking no blessing for granted.’”

Bishop Douglas Lucia, whose Diocese of Syracuse also signed the letter, said: “We see a world that is suffering. We must ask ourselves: What can I do about it? We are called to cherish life because it is a gift from God.” 

Breaking! Yesterday Bishop Robert McElroy shared that the Diocese of San Diego is signing the Letter.

In addition to archdioceses, dioceses and parishes, other signatories include universities, hospital systems, men and women religious communities, and others. Read the full list here and sponsoring partners hereThe letter will remain open for signatures through Nov. 15.

Catholic Climate Covenant joins Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice

On October 16, Catholic Climate Covenant joined an array of Catholic social justice groups for a teach-in hosted by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Our session was titled “Catalysts for Climate Action: Leveraging the Power of Young People to Move the Catholic Church on Climate.” This coming weekend, Nov. 6-8, we will participate in person in the second half of the event, to be held in Washington, DC.

Next, on November 16th, ISN is organizing a virtual advocacy day. Learn more and participate from wherever you live!

Catholic activist in hunger strike to protest lack of climate action 

Speaking of young activists, Paul Campion, 24, and four other members of the climate-activist Sunrise Movement have been on a hunger strike outside the White House since Oct. 20, demanding that the Biden administration and congressional Democrats deliver on the climate-related legislation currently before Congress. Paul had to end the hunger strike on October 30 due to health concerns but continues in solidarity with the group (Kidus, Abby, Ema and Julie.) He studied environmental science at Loyola University Chicago and lives in a Catholic Worker house in Chicago. He told NCR, “It's at the center of everything. I live, work and breathe it.”

Laudato Si' Movement helped organize an in-person vigil yesterday afternoon with the hunger strikers, which included prayers and singing in solidarity.

Yesterday, Catholic Climate Covenant and Ignatian Solidarity Network also invited Catholic young adults to join in 24 hours of fasting, prayer, and action, in solidarity with the hunger strikers, beginning at sunrise on November 1 and concluding at sunrise on November 2. A virtual candlelit vigil was held last night as part of the activities. You can catch up to the action on social media at: “#CatholicSolidarityFast for Climate” and continue taking action, including through this action alert.

Coming Soon: Giving Tuesday takes place this month!  

With the ​approach of the holiday season, plans are underway to kick off our End of the Year Campaign, starting with Giving Tuesday on November 30! 

Giving Tuesday is a day to show support of nonprofit organizations who make a difference.  

Thanks to our contributors, we raised more than $80,000 last year, and provided free creation-care educational programs and resources to thousands of parishes, schools and families. We are also the central hub for the Laudato Si’ Action Platform in the United States, advocate for public policies, help manage solar installation projects and offer small grants for Catholic groups. 

This year our goal is to raise $100,000, to:  

  • Advocate for national climate policy solutions, 
  • Provide resources to Catholic organizations to help protect our common home, including communities most vulnerable to climate change, especially through our national leadership role in implementing the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform (more information and inspiration is on the website we’ve dedicated to U.S. Church for this work. Visit
  • Enhance our outreach to and engagement with young Catholics through our Young Adults Program, to grow the core group of young adult Catholics already deeply committed to this mission.  

But we need your support! 

Starting November 30, and ​throughout this holiday season, please remember to make your tax-deductible contribution and spread the word on social media using #GivingTuesday and #LaudatoSi to get your friends and family involved.   

If you would like to get an early start and make your contribution now, please use this link.

After Giving Tuesday, our year-end fundraising drive will start December 1 and end on the 31st. Your tax-deductible donation can truly make a difference in support of our common home. 

On behalf of Catholic Climate Covenant, thank you for your support!

More Creation Care News

Catholic Leaders talk climate with U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens 

Leading Catholics from Michigan-based religious orders discussed the moral imperative for climate action with Congresswoman Haley Stevens amid the debate on the Build Back Better Act. The event was inspired by the Laudato Siˊ Action Platform, which calls upon Catholics to “engage with decision-makers,” to address “our hotter, dirtier, deader planet.” Catholic leaders at the meeting included Sister Nancy Jamroz, CSSF, Co-Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and Interfaith Dialogue at Madonna University; Sister Jane Herb, IHM, President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and President of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters; Father Gilbert Sunghera, SJ, Superior of the Detroit Jesuit Community and Associate Professor of Architecture at University of Detroit Mercy; and Sister Janet Stankowski, OP, Co-founder of Voices for Earth Justice, Coordinator for Campus Services at Madonna University, and member of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, MI.

News from diocesan partners 

In the Diocese of Syracuse, Dave Babcock reports that their Creation Care team is developing a regular newsletter and helping to spread advocacy alerts to its Care for Creation distribution list. The team is also working with the neighboring Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY to bolster implementation of the Laudato Si Action Platform and reaching out to local college chaplains to engage young adult Catholics.

In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Sheila Marie Fitzpatrick, OSB, reports that the archdiocese celebrated its first Green Mass on September 28, hosted a three-part eco-justice series and met with Archbishop Thompson, who committed to signing the letter from Catholic institutions and leaders organized by Catholic Climate Covenant.

In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Nicolas Collura reports that in addition to growing their network of creation care teams with several new schools, parishes, and universities, they are partnering with Villanova University to develop a "bootcamp" for parishes that want to develop creation care teams or initiatives. 

In the Diocese of Joliet, Kayla Jacobs reports that they will soon launch a PFAS Campaign to focus on PFAS regulations in Illinois. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are widely used, long lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. 

In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Susan Varlamoff reports that The St. John Neumann Creation Care Team hosted a lecture for the Archdiocese given by Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary entitled The Earth is the Lord’s:  A Christian Theology of Environmental Stewardship. 

In the Diocese of San Diego, Father Emmet Farrell reports that Creation Care organizers are trying to meet with each pastor to give them a hard copy of their Laudato Si’ Action Plan. For the Feast of St. Francis, they celebrated a special bilingual Mass at The Immaculata Church on the campus of San Diego Catholic University.   

In the Diocese of Davenport, Kent Ferris reports that their Catholic Messenger podcast with Bishop Thomas Zinkula on September 21 focused on the Laudato Si’ Action Plan and Pope Francis’ call for sustainability. The diocese and two religious orders within the diocese also signed Catholic Climate Covenant’s letter from Catholic leaders to President Biden and Congress, shared curriculum resources with the diocesan Catholic schools’ superintendent and supported an interfaith, statewide dialogue with Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. 

In the Archdiocese of Washington, Bob Simon reports on Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home—a lay-led initiative to lobby the Maryland state legislature on environmental matters in the spirit of Laudato Si’. The group includes Catholics from the Archdiocese of Washington, Archdiocese of Baltimore, and the Diocese of Wilmington, and held its first Zoom call in October.

In the Archdiocese of Newark, Anne Marie Brennan reports that the Newark Archdiocesan Environmental Justice Task Force signed on to be a supporter of a Greenway Project to convert train tracks into a park. Father Tim Graff, the archdiocese’s social ministries director, spoke on a webinar alongside other panelists, advocating for this project. Father Graff cited Pope Francis’ call for us to care for our common home, the benefits to the people in the areas, and the need within poorer areas that do not have much green space. 

In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Beth Gutzler reports that on October 24, the archdiocese joined an event called “Ecumenical Prayer: Care for Creation,” with Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, Archdiocese of St. Louis and Bishop Susan Candea of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The bishops presided over outdoor ecumenical prayer emphasizing their shared commitment to care for the Earth and acknowledging the damage done to vulnerable communities by neglect of our common home. 

In the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Adam Fitzpatrick reports that Archbishop Bernard Hebda “is very affirming of our Care for Creation team. He is looking to us for our guidance as we work to implement the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.” 

US Catholic Bishops launch campaign to combat polarization 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a new initiative aimed at addressing polarization in society. Based on Pope Francis’ call in his encyclical, Fratelli Tutti for “a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good,” the new initiative, Civilize It: A Better Kind of Politics asks Catholics to respond to this invitation with charity, clarity, and creativity.  At the site participants can take a pledge and access supporting materials including an examination of conscience, short reflections, prayers, and a guide that will empower individuals, families, and communities to be bridge builders across perspectives.

Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative seeks new director 

CIIC is accepting applications for a new director and says the role is best-suited for someone who has experience working and building relationships in the investment industry and who is energized by the mission of moving the impact investing space forward in a faith-based community. Familiarity with Catholic Social Teaching as well as the structure of the Church and landscape of Catholic institutions is highly valued. Click on this link to find the full job description of the role.

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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