Dear First Name,
Well into my 40s, I don’t ever recall asking myself this question: “I wonder if this summer is going to break heat records?” But since the founding of Catholic Climate Covenant in 2006, I don’t ever remember seeing the buds and blossoms of spring and not asking this question.
Some of you (far younger than me) perhaps have always asked this question. Is this our new climate reality: dreading summers, fearful of downpours, day upon day of 90 plus temperatures, being mindful of elderly neighbors, construction workers and farmers?
As new life emerges in this month of Easter, I am reminded that each of us are co-creators with God. How we go about this task is critically important for our neighbors across the street and around the world. What can we do to ensure that future summers are more reasonable and not dread another year of record-breaking heat, drought, and storms? We hope that you find that Covenant resources provide opportunities to reflect on your role as co-creator and take this mission as seriously as our times demand.
And from all of us in Washington, we wish you a joyous Easter!
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Action of the Month
Urge EPA to Uphold the Lifesaving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)
The U.S. EPA has proposed to weaken an existing rule that effectively limits the emissions of mercury and other air toxics from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Mercury has long been known to cause lasting harm to human persons, especially the unborn. Some of the other pollutants that accompany mercury emissions from power plants are known or probable carcinogens. Weakening controls on these toxic pollutants would be profoundly damaging, especially to the unborn, young children, and the elderly.
EPA is accepting comments on the proposed revisions to the MATS rule until April 17, 2019. We strongly urge you to add your voice against this revision and submit a comment urging EPA to uphold the existing MATS rule.
Both the US Catholic Conference of Bishops and Catholic Climate Covenant oppose EPA's proposed revision to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. For more background on the MATS rule revision, please go here.
Catholics Leading the Way
Laudato Si' Conference at Creighton University
Though the priority deadline forapplications to the upcoming conference "Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home," to be held June 27-29 at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. has passed, there are still a few spots available.
At this time, we particularly encourage those with expertise and experience in Adult Faith Formation, Energy Management, Liturgy, School Education, andYoung Adult Ministry to apply.
Financial Assistance Available: As we do not want money to be a primary concern, some scholarship funding is available.
Learn about the event, view the schedule and roster of speakers, and apply here.
Earth Day 2019
Many parishes, schools, and religious communities will be celebrating Earth Day in the coming weeks/months. Have you downloaded this year’s Earth Day program, “All Creation Gives God Praise: Protecting Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Change”? This year, complementing the Earth Day Network’s theme of “Protect Our Species”, we focus on the issue of protecting biodiversity.
The Earth Day program may be used by a parish, school, youth group, university, religious community, or other group that is interested in exploring how we as Catholics can live up to the Catechism’s call to “respect the particular goodness of every creature”. At a time when we are witnessing the demise of more and more species, the program helps us ensure the ability of all creation to remain a vibrant chorus of praise to the Creator. Download the program and share it with your community. You will have access to prayers, readings, a short video, and suggested activities.
All Creation Gives God Praise: An Earth Day Webinar: To help you and your community learn more about Earth Day, endangered species, and protecting biodiversity we encourage you to watch the recent Covenant webinar featuring staff from the Earth Day Network explaining the variety of Earth Day resources available for the faith community.
Give Feedback on How Parishes are Responding to Laudato Si'
Catholic Climate Covenant is supporting the work of Dan DiLeo, assistant professor and director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program at Creighton University (as well as a long-time consultant to the Covenant) to better understand how U.S. Catholic parishes have responded to Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. If you are interested in providing feedback on this important topic, please clickhere to learn more about the survey and complete it online.
Faithful Action on Climate Change
Let There Be Solar Light!
In early March 2019, Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Arlington, VA became what may well be Virginia’s first church to go solar with its unique “ blue cross” solar panels. The parish’s pastor, Fr. Father Timothy Hickey explained why the parish decided to go solar: “The people who are most hurt by climate change are the poorest in the world…the Pope issued a couple of years ago an encyclical and in line with the encyclical we are trying to put that into action and putting solar panels on the roof is a very visible sign of that commitment.”
If you are interested in learning how your parish, school, or religious community might take advantage of solar and energy efficiency programs, Catholic Energies can be of assistance
Global Catholic leaders, members of indigenous communities, and environmental organizations related to the Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions, gathered at Georgetown University on March 19-21 to plan for the October Synod of Bishops on the Amazon at the Vatican. The synod will consider environmental issuessuch as deforestation, climate change, and extractive industries in the Amazon and create a plan of action.
Led by our partner, The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), Catholic leaders also met in DC on March 15th to discuss how some Catholic institutions are divesting from companies that profit from the burning of fossil fuels, a primary contributor to climate change. So far, more than 120 Catholic organizations have announced their intention to cut fossil fuels from their portfolios and doing so for not only for ethical reasons but to eliminate risk from their portfolios.
GCCM Earth Day: Protect Forests
The Global Catholic Climate Movement invites you to “come together to protect forests and the people who depend on them, in the Amazon and beyond. Advocate for action on climate change to protect the Amazon, and plant a tree to symbolize your community’s commitment to protecting forestland”. To learn more about this global effort, go here.