Just over a week ago, I gathered with other attendees of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool as we bore public witness to our commitments to more just immigration and environmental policies. Among the morning's speakers was Annie Fox, Provincial Assistant for Justice and Ecology Organizing with Jesuits West. (Watch a recording of Annie's remarks here.) Addressing a crowd of primarily high school and college students, she voiced a sentiment that I've heard over and over again from the young people I encounter in my work at Catholic Climate Covenant: “Why,” she wondered aloud, “did I have to be put on Earth during this climate crisis, in this moment of hopelessness in our country, in this moment of insufficient solutions?”
Why me? Why now?
Who among us has not shared some variation of this thought? It’s a tough time to be a young person on planet Earth. Preprint findings from a recent survey of young people globally found that 83% of respondents believed humans have failed to take care of the Earth, while 75% are frightened by the future and 55% believe that what they most value will be destroyed. We continually find ourselves disappointed by lawmakers who fail to take sufficiently bold and just climate action, betrayed by corporations who rampantly pollute the planet and displace the responsibility onto our young shoulders, and at times even let down by our faith communities when they fail to see our anguish and respond accordingly. It is only natural that, every now and again, we find ourselves asking:
Why me? Why now?
Back at the U.S. Capitol that Monday morning, Annie did not leave us in our despair. What if we could shift the tone of our questioning—”Why me? Why now?”—from one of despair to one of curiosity and possibility? She asked us to consider that perhaps we were put here for a time such as this. “Perhaps,” she suggested, “each one of you has an individual call to be here in this moment, for reasons beyond understanding, for reasons that are about a divine creation, for reasons that are about a plan your ancestors had for you, for reasons that are about the way your ancestors live in you, for reasons that are about the way your God lives in you and lives in all of us as a collective.”
Perhaps you are here at this perilous moment in planetary history precisely because this moment requires your action, needs you to show up in the way that only you can show up. Why you? Why now? How can you incarnate justice for planet and people through your unique vocation?
I hope that you will bring your explorations into community with us at Catholic Climate Covenant as we join the global Church in embodying integral ecology and climate justice with this month's launch of the Laudato Si' Action Platform. Read on for more information about how you can show up at a time such as this.
Director of Youth and Young Adult Mobilization, Catholic Climate Covenant
Young adults lead 250 Catholics nationwide in All Saints' Day Catholic Solidarity Fast
On November 1, Catholics across the country joined together for a day of fasting, action, and prayer in solidarity with the five youth hunger strikers calling for climate justice in Washington, D.C. The day of action, organized by Catholic Climate Covenant and Ignatian Solidarity Network, called on participants to make a 24-hour solidarity fast, to call their members of Congress demanding climate action, and to amplify the message on social media with the hashtag #CatholicSolidarityFast. It culminated with a prayerful candlelight vigil on Zoom.
High Schoolers: Apply for FaithActs in New Orleans
High school students are invited to apply for the FaithActs Summer Youth Theology Institute, June 20-24 2022 at Loyola University New Orleans. Earn college credits while learning about environmental justice and sustainability and exploring your faith. Learn more and apply online.
Volunteer This Summer at Mercy Ecospirituality Center
Service applications for Mercy Volunteer Corps’s short-term experience at Mercy Ecospirituality Center are now open! The mission of Mercy Ecospirituality Center is to inspire reverence for Earth and to work toward the sustainability of life by acting in harmony with all creation. Priority is given to applications submitted before January 20. Apply online.
Eco-Spiritual Advent Retreat Series
Join Nicholas Collura, organizer with EcoPhilly and member of the Youth and Young Adult Mobilization community, for The Waiting Earth: An Eco-Spiritual Advent Retreat Series. This series of four talks will explore connections between traditional Advent themes and eco-spiritual concepts, through which this seemingly idle season of winter cold and spiritual waiting can become the nourishing ground for a greater reverence for, and connectedness to, the earth and the Incarnate One.
Now is no time to let off the pressure: urge Congress to act on climate through reconciliation!
Take action today!
Share Your Thoughts
We are exploring the creation of an online ecospirituality series for young adults and want to hear from you!
Fill out the survey!
CCC at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice
Catholic Climate Covenant joined thousands from across the Ignatian family and beyond at this year's Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice sponsored by our friends at Ignatian Solidarity Network. This year's conference included both virtual and in-person gatherings. In D.C., the Covenant co-sponsored a breakout session with Maryknoll, "Creation Care Is Self-Care: Climate Action in an Interconnected World," and offered a drop-in lunch panel featuring young adults sharing about their experiences of engaging in climate action as whole persons.
Conference attendees gathered on Monday morning outside the U.S. Capitol to bear public witness to commitments to just immigration and environmental policies.
Catholic Climate Covenant staff alongside partners and co-presenters from Union Theological Seminary, Maryknoll, and St. Jude Catholic Church on the Navajo Nation.
At the virtual conference in October, Anna Robertson (Catholic Climate Covenant) offered a breakout session alongside Dan DiLeo (Creighton University) on how young people can leverage their power to animate the Catholic Church on climate change.
Tools to level up your creation care
As the Laudato Si' Action Platform kicks off this month, you might be wondering how you can show up for creation in your corner of the world. Here are three resources to get you started...
- Wondering what the Laudato Si' Action Platform is all about and how you can get involved? The Laudato Si’ Action Platform (Platform) is a new initiative to engage the Catholic Church in a seven-year journey to global sustainability and spiritual conversion. The Platform is a collaboration between the Vatican and a coalition of Catholic organizations across the world, including in the United States. You can join the effort register your school, community, or family’s engagement between Nov. 14, 2021 and April 22, 2022 (Earth Day.) Registering will give you access to Laudato Si’ Planning Guides to map and evaluate your journey. Catholic Climate Covenant and its partners have created a national campaign and website “We’re all Part of God’s Plan(et)” to help the U.S. engage with the Platform. It’s the home for U.S.-specific resources and news, including best practices, action plans, events and inspiring work; and also an interactive place where you can share ideas, challenges, and opportunities, and seek further guidance and accompaniment.
- Have you perused the Covenant's resource library? Browse resources from the Covenant and partner organizations for educators, youth and campus ministers, Creation Care Team members, and for anyone looking to increase their knowledge and skillset for creation care and climate action. Not sure where to begin? Check out this IPCC resource for Catholic educators, this creation care-inspired Advent calendar, or this summary of Laudato Si' with suggested action steps.
- Planning a creation care event? Submit it to the God's Plan(et) event board, and find out about other events happening around the U.S. as we collectively launch into the seven-year Laudato Si' Action Platform. Supplement your event with free prayer and informational resources promoting the Laudato Si' Action Platform.
Giving Tuesday is on the way!
We are counting down to Giving Tuesday, November 30, which kicks off our end-of-the-year fundraising campaign.
With the world focused on climate change the past few weeks, we are working to ensure that the voice of the Catholic community is heard, and momentum continues towards further acknowledgement and action to save our common home.
Your contribution on November 30, will enable us to galvanize support and to initiate creative and impactful efforts nationwide by providing support and resources to help others promote care for creation in their community.
We've started to receive early donations, so if you'd like to make your contribution towards the $25,000 matching grant from the Franciscan Sisters of Mercy, you can do so here.
Together we can make our common home safe for generations to come! Thank you!
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