From the Director: A critical Season for Creation

We Have Faithful Resources for Hope and Action this Fall

Dear Friend,

During this year’s Season of Creation, which began on Sept. 1 and ends Oct. 4, Christians on six continents are praying for restoration and acting on behalf of our common home. Maria de los Angeles Casafus Carrillo, a spiritual consultant to the Laudato Si’ Movement, calls the season a time for humanity “to renew its relationship with the Creator and with creation, through celebration, conversion and commitment together.”  

But as Pope Francis has made clear, it’s also a time for “decisive, urgent action.”  

That’s why Catholic Climate Covenant strongly encourages all Catholics, leaders and lay people, to unite our voices this Season of Creation and call on President Biden and Congress to enact bipartisan, forward-thinking solutions to save our planet for future generations. Read on for details how.

We will deliver our messages in the coming weeks, faithfully hoping and praying they will move the needle of the nation’s moral compass toward the bold and ambitious solutions the nation and world need to address the climate crisis. And while we are in a critical season for creation, I also urge you to read on for a powerful message of hope.

In gratitude,


Dan Misleh         
Founding Executive Director         
Catholic Climate Covenant

“The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor are becoming increasingly serious and alarming, and require decisive, urgent action to transform this crisis into an opportunity.” -- Pope Francis, during his Angelus on Aug. 29, urging all Catholics to get involved during this Season of Creation 


Catholic Climate Covenant Updates 

Action of the Month:  Sign the petition for Climate Protection! Meet with your church leader to sign the Letter.


Host a Feast of St. Francis event 

In collaboration with our partners, the Covenant provides an outline for a 90-minute Feast of St. Francis' program focused on Catholic social teaching and creation care. By hosting a 2021 Feast of St. Francis event, you are joining thousands of Catholics and other people of faith who want to learn, grow, and respond to the Church’s teaching on caring for creation and the poor. Our new Facilitator Guide includes instructions, videos, scripts, links, and materials needed for a Feast of St. Francis program. This also contains useful background material to assist you if you are providing leadership on an online event. A Blessing of the Animals liturgy is also available. 

Our executive director’s biblical take on dire UN climate report

In response to a dire report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, told Catholic New Service that more and more people are experiencing the impact of climate change. Citing Matthew's Gospel in which Jesus asks the disciples “What parent among you would hand your child a stone when your child asks for bread?,” Misleh said, “Young people are asking us older people to give them bread and nourishment and we keep handing them stones. We don’t do what we need to do, to pass the gift of God’s creation to them as we’ve done before.” 

Young Catholic activists are saving the planet. NBD. 

In his apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit, Pope Francis encourages young Catholics to be “the protagonists of change.” Two recent media reports highlight members of Catholic Climate Covenant’s Youth and Young Adult working group doing exactly that. In Missouri, Emma Heienickle aspires to lead the world in sustainable development through a social justice-oriented lens, according to a story in the St. Louis Review. The University of Missouri-Columbia senior played a leadership role during Catholic Climate Covenant's second biennial "Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church" conference in July. This summer, Heienickle was a research assistant in a sustainability science lab, helping with water resource analysis of the Yellowstone River. 

An article in Catholic News Service highlights more great work by members of our Youth and Young Adult group. The story includes our own Emily Burke, who organized a successful fossil fuel divestment student movement grounded in Catholic and Jesuit values at Creighton University, where trustees agreed to divest school resources from fossil fuel companies.

The article also quotes Annapatrice Johnson, who helped coordinate the young adult track for our Laudato Si’ conference. She said young people have a "feeling of angst of the impending doom" and want to be involved in protecting the Earth for future generations. The article also includes an important perspective from another conference leader: Teresa Tsosie, director of religious education at St. Jude Parish in Tuba City, Arizona, where she serves the Navajo people, who she said are experiencing unprecedented droughts.  "We're trying to save the planet for the younger generation,” said Tsosie, who is 34. 

This Season of Creation, Hope Matters

Enjoy this except from our latest Blog post and be inspired with the full post here:

Matter matters. Of the many notable takeaways from the closing keynote by Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University at last month’s Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church Conference, this point stood out above the rest.

As we celebrate this Season of Creation, I am reminded of Sr. Ilia’s inspiring message. As she describes, the energy in the ecosystem around us and all of nature is tangible, experienced, and real. Sr. Ilia references the phenomenon of quantum entanglement to explain this interconnectedness. She describes two particles that, when separated, can produce an unexplainable effect on one another, referring to the effect as “non local action at a distance.”

And yet there was another angle that captured my imagination as I followed Sr. Ilia’s discourse on the insights of scientist, theologian, and philosopher Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. If matter matters, and entangles with other matter, something else must matter too: hope.

Watch: Bishops to host webinar on ‘Care for Our Common Home’

On October 4, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will help host a webinar dedicated to “Care for Our Common Home,” a guidebook jointly published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers, and Catholic Climate Covenant. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Chairman, Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said of “Care for Our Common Home”: “This guide offers insights into how Catholics can bring the riches of the Catholic theological tradition to ecumenical and interreligious discussions and actions that uphold the dignity and sanctity of our environment.” The bishops’ webinar will feature Sister Pamela Smith, director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Charleston. Sister Smith has written 15 books, including “What Are They Saying about Environmental Ethics?” and “EarthTones: Praying the Psalms with All Creation.” You can register here.

Catholic Energies News

Virginia Interfaith Power & Light highlighted Father John Grace and his Immaculate Conception Church in Hampton, Virginia. With the help of Catholic Energies, the parish has gone 100% solar. “While it was true there was a financial saving for the church, it wasn’t the only reason to move to solar,” Father Grace said. “We wanted to make this the first step in actively becoming a partner with others in caring for our common home.”

Last month, Catholic Energies, the Covenant’s solar and energy efficiency development program, also helped the following projects: The Diocese of Richmond prepared their 11th and 12th solar installations at parishes and schools. Religious Congregations of Men is helping kickstart solar projects for the Salesian Society, Order of the Passion, and Marist Brothers in New York and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Illinois and Texas. Catholic Charities of Nevada is nearing the end of its new solar roofing project, one of the largest nonprofit installations in the state! The Brothers of Christian Schools plan to install a 213kW solar ground array at its 106-acre former provincial headquarters and Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services is working with Catholic Energies and the Diocese of Oakland to bring solar and energy savings to four diocesan cemeteries. 

More Creation Care News

Take part in the Season of Creation 

The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.” (Oikos is Greek for “home.”) For Catholic resources and information of how you and your community can participate go here and for the 2021 Celebration Guide go here.

Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor: Reducing our Carbon Footprint

In this webinar hosted by the Catholic Health Association on Sept. 23 from 1-2 p.m. Eastern, Gary Cohen, president and founder of Health Care Without Harm, along with representatives from Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health, will share how they are working to eliminate the carbon emissions of their organizations as well as concrete actions health care organizations can take to adopt renewable energy and achieve carbon neutrality. Learn more and register here. See all of CHA's 2021 Feast of St Francis resources.

Creation Care Teams Field Notes

  • Father Emmet Farrell, director of Creation Care ministry for the Diocese of San Diego, reports that Bishop Robert McElroy recently endorsed their Creation Care Action plan, a copy of which will be delivered to the pastor of every parish.
  • Likewise Cardinal Wilton Gregory is sending a copy of his Action Plan to every priest, deacon, and seminarian in the Archdiocese of Washington. The archdiocese is offering parishes $500-$1,000 grants to help implement the plan.
  • Across the river in Arlington, Virginia, Bishop Michael Burbridge has asked all diocesan offices to take part in the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action plan, a seven-year effort to achieve “total sustainability in the spirit of Laudato Si.’” And finally, Kent Ferris, Social Action and Catholic Charities Director in the Diocese of Davenport (Iowa), reports that Bishop Thomas Zinkula invited business leaders to a discussion about “the moral and economic case for a more sustainable future.” 

It’s exciting to see church leaders like Cardinal Gregory and Bishops Burbridge, McElroy and Zinkula taking concrete action. But we can all do more -- and you can help! Remember to watch the webinar training on how to faithfully dialogue with your bishops, priests and other leaders to spark bold creation care and climate action. Watch a recording of the webinar 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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