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From the Director: A new chapter in our climate action for creation

Dear Friend,

Happy Feast of St. Francis! Inspired by St. Francis today and always, our work is needed now more than ever to love and care of creation and our fellow brothers and sisters. Just a few days ago, hurricanes and severe storms left and are leaving paths of destruction in Pakistan, throughout the Caribbean and in southeastern United States. They are hurting millions of Pakistanis, Cubans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans and other Americans, and leaving families in dire straits without livable homes, adequate food or water, and access to power and other services. The unprecedented intensity of these phenomena is evidence of global warming.   

As our civilization fills the atmosphere with greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels, the air and water become warmer, leading to stronger and longer-lasting storms. This is the scientific consensus. A fact of life. Now, we must drive down global GHG emissions and help protect our most vulnerable neighbors from the impacts of climate change.    

Fortunately, the Administration and Congress are enacting into law the most ambitious climate legislation in history. This refers not only to the Inflation Reduction Act which can drive down national GHG emissions by 40% by 2030, but also the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the CHIPS and Science Act – all providing frameworks and funding for new climate-friendly industrial policy, resilient infrastructure, and research and development of non-carbon energy sources.  

And there is even more hope. Last week a bipartisan group of Senators - 21 Republicans and 48 Democrats – ratified the Kigali Amendment to the global Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The amendment calls for a gradual reduction in the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”), which are potent greenhouse gases. Its global implementation, which now includes U.S. participation, can avoid as much as half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century. 

We are indeed in a new chapter of our work. The needle of the nation’s compass has finally pivoted toward solutions commensurate to the scale of our climate crisis. We must make use of this change and momentum and turn it into even greater action and progress for our common home.   

That’s why U.S. Catholics will be asking President Biden and his administration to leverage these national successes into bold and ambitious global leadership at the upcoming UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP27). People are experiencing profound suffering especially in nations least able to address the impacts. Our nation comes to COP27 with a strong leadership position, which it should use to lead and support efforts that dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and provide meaningful assistance to the nations and people most impacted by climate change.  

As Catholics, we are called to uphold the life and dignity of every human person and to care for our common home. Please join us and our dedicated co-sponsoring partners, by signing our letter to the Biden Administration. Read on below to learn how. 

In faith,


Jose Aguto 
Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant


Catholic Climate Covenant Updates


Sign our letter to President Biden ahead of COP27! 

As Catholics guided by the call to care for our vulnerable neighbors and our common home, we are asking the Biden Administration to exercise leadership at the upcoming UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP27) with moral courage and exceptional ambition. Please add your name to this Catholic letter to the Biden Administration urging them to encourage all nations to dramatically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and provide meaningful assistance to the nations and peoples most impacted by climate change. 

Click here to read and sign the letter ahead of Nov. 6th. 


Breaking!  Release today of “The Letter," a new documentary on Pope Francis and Laudato Si’! 

We are thrilled to share the release of the feature documentary film called “The Letter,” produced by Oscar-winning Off the Fence Productions in collaboration with Laudato Si’ Movement and the Vatican, and released by YouTube Originals, today, October 4th!  

In this new #LaudatoSiFilm by YouTube Originals, Pope Francis and voices from the peripheries discover what they share in common.
Watch now→

You are also warmly invited to host a screening of the film later this month! By registering for a screening, communities will receive a link to the film that can be watched without license, for free. Register for a training on October 19 to learn how to share the film via this link. (And you can view the trailer here.)  

In addition, Catholic Climate Covenant will announce our own special screenings of the film in early November, so stay tuned!  

Join us for “Texting for Creation”! 

In the days leading up to the November 8 election, we need your help to text Catholics in three states. These events will be virtual and very simple, and your phone number and personal information will not be used or compromised in any way. A pre-loaded text script will also be provided.  

Sign up below to text Catholics about voting to protect our common home: 

  • Wednesday, October 19, 1:00-2:00 PM ET: Wisconsin – register here
  • Wednesday, October 26, 8:00-9:00 PM ET: Arizona – register here
  • Wednesday, November 2, 7:00-8:00 PM ET: Arizona – register here

Watch Recording: “Season of Creation Webinar: Putting our Faith in Action by Voting to Protect our Common Home” 

If you missed the Sept. 28th event, catch the recording of our second Season of Creation webinar, “Putting our Faith in Action by Voting to Protect our Common Home.” 

Description: The November 8th midterm elections are quickly approaching. As in every election, this opportunity for participation in public life can help Catholics express support for peace, justice, and the protection of creation. Join us to hear about theological foundations for why Catholics are called to vote to protect the environment and about exciting opportunities for everyone to get involved - especially young adults! Watch recording here.   


  • Henry Glynn, Catholic Climate Covenant  
  • Dan DiLeo, PhD, Associate Professor, Creighton University  
  • Emily Schumacher-Novak, MA, Associate Director for Education and Outreach, USCCB 

How the Inflation Reduction Act aligns with Catholic social teaching  

Henry Glynn, a policy advisor with Catholic Climate Covenant, reflects on how the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act accords with Catholic social teaching. “The faith-filled elements of the Inflation Reduction Act promote human dignity and integral development, especially when considering how they align with environmental justice initiatives, economic justice, and caring for our common home,” Henry writes. Read more here.  

Inflation Reduction Act includes direct rebates for solar projects  

The IRA substantially benefits nonprofits looking to install solar projects, reports Catholic Energies, the solar development service of Catholic Climate Covenant. Cost barriers to adopting solar are vastly diminished by the new law, which includes a Direct Pay rebate equal to at least 30% of the gross cost of the solar project. This rebate is effective immediately and offers every Catholic organization a more affordable path to leveraging all of the financial, environmental, and spiritual benefits of solar use.  

In other Catholic Energies news, recent projects include solar carport canopies adjoining Immaculate Conception Monastery in Queens, New York; their first Catholic project in Puerto Rico at Colegio Santa Gema; their ninth and tenth installations in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia; and a new partnership with Ascension Living to develop solar at their long-term care properties in Washington, DC and Illinois. 

Activists in 'Cancer Alley' hail halt to petrochemical projects  

Environmental justice advocates declared victory after two major projects at chemical complexes in Louisiana were halted, providing some rare good news in an area known as “Cancer Alley.” Rise St. James, a faith-based group led by Sharon Lavigne, organized the opposition to the project. "David has toppled Goliath," said Lavigne, a parishioner of St. James Catholic Church, whose activism made her the 2021 North American recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize. Rise St. James and other community groups also celebrated the defeat of a second giant chemicals complex planned to be built in two Black neighborhoods. "We are heartened and inspired by the courageous advocacy that Sharon and her allies have undertaken for so many years with so much sacrifice, that has led to this victory for environmental justice," Jose Aguto, our executive director, told NCR. 

Host a Feast of St. Francis Program 

The theme for this year’s Feast of St. Francis is “Eco-Spirituality: Behold God in Everything.” The Feast of St. Francis program is a 90-minute educational program designed to assist you, your family, parish, school, diocese, religious community, or other Catholic institution to understand the concept of “eco-spirituality,” one of the seven goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform

The program includes prayers, readings, a short video, music, discussion questions and suggested activities. It can be used as part of your Season of Creation events or at any time that fits your community’s schedule. The program this year includes an in-person version and an online/individual use version. 

Blessing of the Animals: Don’t forget that we also have available the very popular Blessing of the Animals liturgy for your use! You may choose to hold the blessing on October 4th and then hold a separate 90-minute Feast of St. Francis program on a day of your choosing, or you can do both on the same day. You will need to speak to your pastor (or deacon/lay leader) about leading the Blessing of the Animals.  

Display a Season of Creation liturgical banner in your parish!  

Catholic Climate Covenant and Laudato Si' Movement in the U.S. have partnered to offer the Season of Creation liturgical banner to dioceses, parishes, universities, schools, groups, and any community of faith that wishes to spread awareness of the Season of Creation. The banner, which features St. Francis with a dove, is 2x6 feet and available in English, Spanish and bilingual versions, and can be hung or displayed on a vertical stand. 

The banner states Season of Creation is Sept. 1-Oct. 4th, and it can be used year after year. Learn more here. 

Accompanying Bulletin to Liturgical Banner: If you order the banner for your community, we invite you to download and print copies of the accompanying flier that shares more information about Season of Creation (optional.) View flier here and export it as a PDF for printing. 


More Creation Care News

Ignatian Family Teach In 

In a few short weeks, from October 22-24, the Ignatian family will gather in Washington, D.C., for the 25th annual Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice—coming together to be transformed, connect with others who are passionate about faith and justice, and be inspired to take action to build a more just world. 
If you’re able to join the gathering in Washington this year, you are invited to:  

  • register for Solidarity on Tap @ IFTJ with guest speaker Michael O’Loughlin, author of Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear. 

If you can’t join us this year in-person, you are welcome virtually via the FREE IFTJ Livestream! Subscribe by clicking here to receive livestream updates and info before and during IFTJ 2022.  

Lear how to host a Climate Vigil in your community!

Want to host a Climate Vigil in your community? Sign up to learn how! ( You can join us live via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 11 @ 12-1 p.m. Pacific / 3-4 p.m. Eastern. Those who register will also receive the recording.

Details: Led by Climate Vigil co-founder, Peter Fargo, we will explore: What is a Climate Vigil and how can you host one in your community? We'll walk through the simple steps you can take for a successful gathering. Then we'll talk about the vision & values of the movement and how we can support each other as we work together to overcome climate change.

@ClimateVigil #BeTheLight

Join the Laudato Si’ Movement for exciting divestment announcement  

The Laudato Si’ Movement invites your institution to join their divestment announcement on November 2, to let world leaders at the UN climate conferences know we want change! 

Already, trillions of dollars have been divested, and Catholics are the largest group among faith-based investors. That is because Pope Francis has led the way by hosting three conferences on impact investing at the Vatican and calls for all Catholics to divest. Learn about Dayton University, Georgetown, Seattle University, and Creighton University, who have all divested. Please get in touch with Joseph D'halluin, Laudato Si' Movement Divestment Officer, for further information, to register your interest, or to share your thoughts: The deadline to join the announcement is October 25.  

Catholic Relief Services Speaker Series “We are Called To Care: Our Faith and Climate Change” 

Join Catholic Relief Services for 15-minute lunch break talks to inspire learning and action on climate change. In three short but powerful talks, learn how you can partner with CRS to care for our common home, take action through advocacy and make an impact worldwide through community giving. Tune in each month starting this October for 15 minutes at noon EST. There will be simultaneous Spanish translation. Father Josh Cochran, CRS Global Fellow, will kick off this brief and uplifting series on October 19 as he frames climate change and the importance of caring from the perspective of our Catholic Faith. Register via this link. 

Virtual speaker series on climate change: Caring for Our Common Home 

Old Mission Santa Barbara in California is presenting a free virtual speaker series called “Climate Change: Caring for Our Common Home.” You’ll hear from scientists, Franciscan friars, and spiritual leaders, as they discuss climate science, the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, ecospirituality and climate justice. Register here. A Zoom link will be provided via email upon registration. If you are unable to tune in for the live talk on Zoom, registering will also ensure you receive a link to watch the video of the talk after the event.  

PA Interfaith group invites you to join their annual conference  

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light would like to invite all members of the Catholic Climate Covenant network to join their Annual Conference on November 13th. This year’s theme is Environmental Justice & Human Resilience, and will feature a virtual keynote address, response panel session, and workshops at four, in-person locations designed to address regional issues. You can register via this link.  

For more online and in-person events, visit the God’s Plan(et) website: 

Catholic groups protest deal to fast-track energy projects 

After passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and its investments in combating climate change, Catholic groups turned their attention to stopping proposed legislation that would streamline the permitting process for energy infrastructure projects, according to National Catholic Reporter.   

The bill would pave the way for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project championed by Sen. Joe Manchin. Catholics with the Sisters of Mercy, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Franciscan Action Network, and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house joined other activists in Washington on Sept. 8 to protest the deal. According to recent reports, it has been stripped out of the current spending bill but could be resurrected in other legislation later this year.  

Cardinal calls for tourists to consider sustainable development and local needs  

On World Tourism Day on September 27, Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, called for tourism that respects workers, protects the environment and enriches a country's cultural heritage. The Canadian cardinal continued, "The sustainability of tourism, in fact, is measured not only in terms of pollution, but also in the impact on the biodiversity of natural and social ecosystems.” 

Pope encourages young entrepreneurs to increase ‘spiritual capital’  

Pope Francis encouraged nearly 1,000 young adult economists, entrepreneurs, financial advisers, scholars and scientists from 120 countries attending an Economy of Francesco event in Assisi to dedicate themselves to preserving and increasing their "spiritual capital." 

At the end of the meeting, participants gave Pope Francis a pact, promising to work for "an economy of peace and not of war; an economy that counteracts the proliferation of weapons, especially the most destructive ones; an economy that cares for creation and does not plunder it; an economy at the service of the person, the family and life, respectful of every woman, man, child, the elderly and especially the frail and vulnerable." 

Catholic governors called out for exploiting migrants  

Catholic columnist Phyllis Zagano took Govs. Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis to task for using vulnerable migrants as political props by sending them to Massachusetts and New York, noting that many fled countries ravaged by climate catastrophes exacerbated by rich nations. From 1750 through 2020, greenhouse gas emissions totaled 1.7 trillion tons from the developed world's use of fossil fuels.  

Zagano writes, “All of that causes global warming, and global warming changes the weather. Lakes and streams disappear, and with them forests and vegetation. Livestock, let alone people, cannot survive in burgeoning deserts. Either they move or they die. …These escapees crowd the cities and find no work. They are the migrants.”   

Catholic uniforms could have high levels of toxic chemicals, study says  

Clothing items typical of uniforms in Catholic schools, like polo shirts and plaid skirts, could be sources of high levels of toxic "forever chemicals" and pose potentially serious health risks for the millions of students wearing them, according to a new study reported in NCR.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS, are human-made chemicals often referred to as "forever chemicals" because of their slow breakdown and buildup in people, animals and the environment. Some of the more than 12,000 different compounds have been linked to a number of health effects, including cancer and fertility issues in adults, and developmental delays in children. 

Sisters Act!  

Global Sisters Report shares this story about honey produced by “bees-in-residence” at the All Saints Sisters of the Poor Convent in Catonsville, Maryland. The sisters have long nurtured bluebirds, raised monarch butterflies and rehabilitated injured or sick animals. "When you are interacting with creation, you are actually partaking in that creation in a different way,” said Mother Emily Ann Lindsey, superior general of the religious community. “It feeds us spiritually because it brings us closer to our Lord through what he's created.” 

News from Parishes and Dioceses …   

The Season of Creation began in San Diego with much celebration as Bishop Robert McElroy was elevated to Cardinal in Rome. Cardinal McElroy's strong understanding of climate change and environmental degradation, as well as his support for strong action, received much attention. The Creation Care Ministry is working with the diocesan Office of Construction on the Net Zero Pathway initiative to get diocesan buildings to net zero by 2050, hoping to draw on the resources made available by the Inflation Reduction Act.  

The Diocese of Davenport, Iowa continues to work on the Laudato Si’ Action Plan, which it plans to release to the diocese in October. Additionally, the Creation Care team plans to begin Phase I & II energy use audits from Verdis in Omaha by way of the Catholic Climate Covenant.  

The Care for Creation Team serving the Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis is building a proposal for a Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the Archdiocese with a goal of having a Laudato Si’ Action plan by November 2023. This plan will be guided and led by young adults. They are also fostering a collaboration with EnerChange to do energy audits for every parish who is interested at zero cost to the parish.  

The Diocese of Joliet hosted their annual Season of Creation Prayer Service in partnership with the Wheaton Franciscan Community, reporting that “it was a beautiful, intergenerational, and bilingual event.” Here is a recording.  

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis Creation Care Ministry joined Archbishop Thompson and Alexander Mingus of the Indiana Catholic Conference at a meeting with Senator Mike Braun and continues working with the Archdiocese to develop a plan for the Laudato Si Action Platform.  

The Arlington Diocese in Virginia held an in person and virtual conference: “Why Should I Care for Our Common Home? Conversion, Prayer and Action” with Bishop Burbidge presiding at Mass and answering that question in his homily, followed by a conference and keynote address by Dan Misleh, founder of Catholic Climate Covenant. A pledge program was initiated to accept pledges from families and individuals to pray, learn and act. 

The Atlanta Archdiocese continues to engage additional churches and schools into the Laudato Si Initiative with a rolling enrollment. Participating churches and schools receive energy and water audits and reports giving opportunities to reduce energy and water. Georgia Interfaith Power and Light provides grants to upgrade their facilities. A waste audit is being refined and will be used throughout the Atlanta archdiocese and available to other archdioceses.    

The Newark Archdiocese Environmental Justice Task Force reports that they are finalizing edits on the Laudato Si Action Plan, and Cardinal Joseph Tobin has agreed for the Newark Archdiocese to join. On October 26 the task force will host a webinar on “The Parish as Oasis,” based on a new book by members of the Jesuit Center for Faith and Justice in Dublin, Ireland.  More on the book can be found here

The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. reports that Green Teams are focused on improving parish grounds as habitat for native plants and pollinators and developing parish vegetable gardens as a resource for local food banks.  St. Rose of Lima in Gaithersburg, MD, and St. Camillus in Silver Spring, MD, are part of an interfaith program (“Sacred Grounds”) sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation that includes help in developing native plant gardens on parish sites and organizing native plant giveaways to parishioners who pledge to plant them at their homes.  Members of the Archdiocesan Care for Creation Committee are also engaging the Archdiocese in a discussion about the use of artificial turf at Catholic schools and facilities, growing out of concerns that artificial turf presents ecological, health and safety, and financial problems that should militate in favor of not installing any more such fields. The Archdiocese will be combining respect-for-life, disability awareness, and care for creation concerns in a special Archdiocesan Mass that will be celebrated by Cardinal Gregory on October 30.  This is seen as an opportunity to underline the fact that care for creation concerns are also pro-life concerns.  

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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Catholic Climate Covenant
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