Dear friend,

It’s a story that’s becoming all-too familiar: this past weekend, a shooter, motivated by white supremacy, opened fire in a grocery store in Buffalo, NY, killing 13 people, 11 of whom were Black. The youngest of the victims, Roberta Drury, was 32—just two years older than me. Celestine Chaney was around my dad’s age; Geraldine Talley was close to my mom’s. You know the story: these ordinary people—parents and friends, caregivers and community members—were going about their business on a day like any other when the vicious sin of racism plowed its way into their lives and cut them short.

What, though, does this have to do with climate change?

Better put: what doesn’t this have to do with climate change?

In his manifesto the shooter described himself as an “eco-fascist,” echoing the manifestos of earlier mass shooters in Christchurch, New Zealand and El Paso, Texas who cited environmental motivations for their violence. As the world warms up and resources become more scarce, more and more people will be forced to flee their homes, especially—though not exclusively—people of color and people from the Global South. As the impacts of climate change increasingly encroach on people of more significant financial means in the Global North, whether in the form of wildfires, increased gas prices, rising sea levels, or pandemics, some will inevitably seek scapegoats to blame. Far too often, these scapegoats will be members of the very same communities of color who have born the least historical responsibility for climate change while bearing the brunt of its consequences.

The climate is changing. That’s not to say that there’s not still plenty we can do to mitigate the severity of climate change, but we must also consider how to choose love in a climate-changed world. Will we recognize this moment as an opportunity to deepen our commitment to hospitality, to widen the aperture of our heart over and against mounting scarcity, to resist being swept away in a fearful frenzy that leaves us grasping fruitlessly at resources that were never truly ours to begin with and scapegoating people of color and others on the margins? Love takes many faces, but one of the ways it looks in a climate-changing world is to advocate for policies that build the resilience of communities and protect those who are most financially dependent on a carbonized economy and vulnerable to climate impacts. These are the kinds of policies Catholics across the country have been seeking to promote as a part of the Encounter for Our Common Home Campaign.

For my part, I’m trying my best to choose love. Will you choose love with me?

With hope,

Anna Robertson
Director of Youth and Young Adult Mobilization, Catholic Climate Covenant


Catholic young adults attend an integral ecology retreat outside of Chicago

A few weeks ago, Catholic young adults from across the Archdiocese of Chicago gathered at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus for a weekend of community, prayer, and reflection on some of the key themes of integral ecology as set forth by Pope Francis in Laudato Si'. The retreat, a partnership between the Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Climate Covenant, offered participants the chance to engage with themes such as environmental justice, ecological spirituality, integral ecology, and social action, using the Laudato Si' Action Platform as a framework for ongoing engagement. This is the first significant step in an ongoing effort at the Covenant to develop a widely available framework for young adult integral ecology retreats.


Make a Retreat at the Fireplace Community in Chicago

The Fireplace fuels and sustains change-makers as we create inclusive communities that contribute to the flourishing of people and the planet. The Fireplace welcomes artists and activists to stay with us for short-term residencies and retreats. We invite inquiries from people who would like to use our home as a place of respite or to complete a project. Visit the website for more information and to make an inquiry.


Young adult attendees wore red and orange at the invitation of indigenous representatives of the local Kateri Center. Red raises awareness of the realities of missing and murdered indigenous women, and orange raises awareness about the residential boarding schools used as tools of cultural erasure throughout the 20th century in the U.S. and Canada.

Encounter for Our Common Home Campaign

Over the last few weeks, hundreds of Catholics across the country took a stand for our common home by meeting with their federal senators calling for climate justice.

Screenshots from constituent visits with senators as a part of the Encounter for Our Common Home Campaign.

It's not too late to take action as a part of the Encounter for Our Common Home Campaign! You can still join Catholics across the country who are sending messages to urge their senators to support $555 billion in climate solutions that lower national greenhouse gas emissions and help communities build resilience against the impacts of climate change.


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