Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, God’s Grandeur has been on my mind as the world struggles with the pandemic, systemic racism and a global recession. The poem acknowledges humankind’s heavy footprint on the earth but then says that “nature is never spent,” the sun always rises and the Holy Spirit, “over the bent world broods with warm breasts and with ah! bright wings.”
We are now in the Season of Creation, a time when the world’s 2.4 billion Christians come together to acknowledge our heavy footprint, celebrate nature, and pray and act for our common home. The Spirit moves us to put our moral convictions into action for the common good.
What does this mean, and how do we do it? The Covenant is hosting a series of webinars to help guide U.S. Catholics in our discernment of what it means to understand, embrace and act authentically and fully on our Catholic faith. I invite you to join us on this journey of conversion, so that together we may experience a rebirth of love, and of a better world where we all belong.
Dan Dan Misleh Founding Executive Director Catholic Climate Covenant
Action of the Month
Register for Catholic Social Teaching, Politics, and the Fullness of Faith
Bishop Stowe will help outline how civic engagement and political participation informed by Catholic social teaching are essential to Christian faith—especially around the upcoming U.S. elections. In addition to Bishop Stowe, the webinar will include reflections from Creighton University theologian Daniel R. DiLeo, PhD, and provide a foundation for the Covenant’s Season of Creation webinar series.
A Season of Creation Webinar Series: "On the Common Good & Our Common Home"
Feeling lost? Unsure whether your voice matters? During this year’s Season of Creation, Catholic Climate Covenant is hosting a five-part webinar series, “On the Common Good & Our Common Home,” for U.S. Catholics to:
Understand how Catholic social teaching (CST) and creation care are essential to living the fullness of faith and the Church’s mission;
Facilitate courageous conversations about climate change and Catholic civic participation;
Apply Catholic Social Teaching and creation care to form one’s conscience ahead of the 2020 elections.
See more national and partner Season of Creation events here.
Finding God in the Wilderness
Catholic Climate Covenant presents Finding God in the Wilderness, a four-part prayer series designed to be used each Sunday after Mass during the Season of Creation. To heal what Pope Francis proclaims as “an ecological crisis,” Catholics are called to an interior conversion. The prayer program invites participants, like John the Baptist did, to embark on a spiritual journey into the wilderness to encounter God in a new way, and to come forth ready to help inspire a similar conversion in others. Each Finding God in the Wilderness service lasts 15 minutes and incorporates a reflection on the Mass readings for each week, viewed through the lens of creation care. The Sunday Season of Creation prayer series culminates in the Feast of St. Francis program.
Download the 2020 Feast of St. Francis Program/Host a Program!
The Covenant’s 2020 Feast of St. Francis Program, The Healing Power of Love in Action: Creation Care in a Time of Pandemic and Partisanship, is available to celebrate the Season of Creation and the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with your family, small group, parish or community. This year’s program is framed through St. Francis’ famous prayer, the Canticle of Creatures, which he wrote while in suffering, to help illuminate our current journey from the pandemic, from indifference to climate change, and from political partisanship, to a place of healing through God, with each other and with Creation. The program contains prayers, readings, a short video and suggested activities, and ends by offering ways to act.
Pledge to Vote with Love in Action Today
Have you registered to vote? To see if you are registered and to complete the registration, take time NOW to review How to Register to Vote from www.USA.gov. Then, take the pledge today to vote with Catholic love in action! We pledge to promote our Catholic values, protect life, our vulnerable communities and neighbors, and God’s creation which sustains life.Take the Pledge to Vote with Love in Action HERE.
Catholic Energies Completes Seven Diocese of Richmond Solar Projects
Catholic Energies announced that seven Catholic communities in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, which stretches across much of Virginia, completed solar projects this summer that together will offset more than 45,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas over 25 years (equivalent to some 100 million miles driven by an average passenger car,) and save the churches more than $2 million in energy operating costs.
The Richmond Diocese solar projects were completed at: Church of St Therese, Chesapeake; Roanoke Catholic School, Roanoke; Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Richmond; Diocese of Richmond Pastoral Center, Richmond; Sacred Heart Church, Danville; St. Pius X Church, Norfolk; and Church of the Holy Family, Virginia Beach.
If you haven’t seen it yet, we invite you to watch a short video highlighting some of the Hope for Creation submissions. The Covenant continues this virtual initiative of hope in these challenging days to invite prayers, meditations, stories, essays, statements, reflections, art, poems, songs, photos, videos, etc.tocelebrate creation, and each other. Share the Hope for Creation initiative with friends, school, or your parish, which we are extending throughout Laudato Si’ Year, through May 24, 2021.
This booklet introduces the Season of Creation and offers resources for celebrating each of the Sundays of the season from September 1st, the World Day for Prayer for Creation through October 4th, the feast of St. Francis. It offers penitential rite suggestions, prayers for the liturgy, scriptural reflections and more. “May these resources help you celebrate the Season of Creation with the seriousness and prayerfulness it needs and deserves.”
President of U.S. Bishops Conference Announces Emergency Collection for Natural Disasters
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has requested that bishops across the country consider taking up a voluntary special collection for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and Church needs arising from the increasing number of natural disasters in the United States.
In his letter sent to bishops, Archbishop Gomez wrote, in part, “The traditional storm season has only just begun and already we have witnessed the devastating impact of Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires. Thousands of homes, businesses, and churches have been severely damaged or destroyed, and the impacts will be long-lasting.”
Mercy International Association’s covid-19 task force recently announced Hope in a Time of Pandemic. This report shares stories of what has been revealed by the pandemic (including around the sacredness of Earth) and how Mercys are responding around the world. It also offers policy recommendations for government leaders to attend to the needs of vulnerable peoples and Earth through and beyond the pandemic.
Franciscan Online Course: Laudato Si’ and Integral Ecology
As part of the Laudato Si Revolution, the Franciscan Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation Office is kicking off a 10-session course on Laudato Si’.
“Everyone loves family first. But too many of us have forgotten that as children of one Father, we are bonded in a kinship relationship with every created being. The Incarnation reveals definitively that the Heart of God beats at the center of the entire network of life. Discovering this ecological spirituality orients us toward reverence for all life, and provides the foundation for all of our work for justice, peace, and integrity of creation.”
Sr. Mary will lead participants in a reflection on this religious vision of God's Creation and some spiritual practices that foster it. This virtual event will be the first of a series of workshops on care for creation sponsored by the Stuart Center and the Society of the Sacred Heart USC Province.
"Our lives depend on the fruits of creation; these cannot be reduced to mere objects to be recklessly handled and used." -- Pope Francis World Food Day Message, October 16, 2019
Sisters of Mercy is launching a “Just Food” segment of their yearlong Mercy Earth Challenge. Over the next five weeks they will reflect on a topic that binds us tightly to creation – food, a gift from Earth that not only sustains us, but links us with unknown sisters and brothers around the world. The weekly releases of information will examing industrial agriculture, processed foods, palm oil and its impacts on communities and ecosystems, and food waste. The webpage where people can find the weekly releases of information and calls to action is here. Anyone can sign up to receive those weekly segments via email here.
Jubilee for the Earth Podcast
The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach has launched “Jubilee for the Earth,” a beautiful podcast mini-series about biodiversity and our sacred story produced by the Missionary Society of St. Columban.
“We are a Society of priests and lay people who live and share the good news of the Gospel by working with those who are poor and exploited, including the earth. Over the course of six episodes, we’ll explore the beauty of biodiversity and the threats it faces. We’ll travel around the world to hear from Columbans who are working to renew the face of the Earth. Grounded in Catholic Social Teaching, we hope that this podcast will help us all to see how caring for our common home is fundamental to our lives as people of faith and as global citizens.”
Reflections from Pope Francis on COVID and Catholic Social Teaching
In case you missed it, Pope Francis is offering a series of seven catechesis (during the weekly general audiences) on the themes of COVID and Catholic Social Teaching. In the most recent audience, Pope Francis shared: “The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all connected to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to emerge from this crisis better than before, we have to do so together; together, not alone. Together. Not alone, because it cannot be done. Either it is done together, or it is not done. We must do it together, all of us, in solidarity. I would like to underline this word today: solidarity. As a human family we have our common origin in God; we live in a common home, the garden-planet, the earth where God placed us; and we have a common destination in Christ. But when we forget all this, our interdependence becomes dependence of some on others — we lose this harmony of interdependence and solidarity — increasing inequality and marginalization; the social fabric is weakened and the environment deteriorates.”
See the full list of addresses from Pope Francis 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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