Dear First Name,
What a brutal travel month February was for me: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Anchorage (airplanes) and Cincinnati (car). I recalled Wendell Berry once saying, "I've spent much of my life traveling around only to tell people to stay home!" Yet we all justify our behaviors: "Am I supposed to take a train to Anchorage?" We all use what the fossil fuel industry produces, and I've always found it hard to vilify energy companies because of this (despite the fact that some energy companies have not exactly been truthful when it comes to climate).
Lent offers us a new opportunity to examine our lifestyles. In his Lenten reflection, Pope Francis puts fasting, praying and almsgiving in a creation care frame. It might be good for all of us to reflect on this:
Fasting, that is, learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to "devour" everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts. Prayer, which teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy. Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us.
From all of us at Catholic Climate Covenant, we wish for you a prayerful and fulfilling Lent.
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Action of the Month
Urge Your Member of Congress/Senators to Support Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Legislation
HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) is a market-efficient and revenue-neutral approach to reduce the carbon dioxide pollution that is a primary driver of the climate crisis. Introduced by a bi-partisan group of legislators, the Act would reduce national carbon pollution emissions by over 90% by 2050 by pricing carbon at $15 per metric ton and increasing $10 every year. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has expressed support for the bill. We encourage you to ask your House Representative to co-sponsor this bill and ask your Senators to introduce a similar bill on a bipartisan basis.TAKE ACTION
Catholics Leading the Way
Apply to Attend Laudato Si'Conference at Creighton University
You are invited to apply to attend a groundbreaking initiative, "Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home." The inaugural gathering will be held June 27-29, 2019 at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and is co-sponsored by Creighton University and Catholic Climate Covenant. The event will bring together current and potential U.S. Catholic leaders to convene, equip, and inspire them to more deeply integrate Laudato Si' and its climate change teaching into eight "tracks" U.S. Catholic life: Adult Faith Formation; Advocacy; Creation Care Teams in Parishes, Schools, and Religious Orders; Energy Management; Higher Education; Liturgy; School Education; and Young Adult Ministry. The application deadline is April 1, however we encourage you to apply as soon as possible since there are a limited number of attendance spots available. Learn about the event, view the schedule and roster of speakers, and apply here.
Each year the Covenant produces a free one-hour educational program for Earth Day. We are putting the finishing touches on this year's "All Creation Gives God Praise: Protecting Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Crisis" and it should be ready in the next week or two. Have you pre-registered to ensure it is delivered to your inbox as soon as it is published?
Earth Day Webinar
We also invite you to join us in a conversation with the Earth Day Network on March 20th at 3:00 pm (eastern). Tune in and learn more about the Covenant's program and how you can facilitate a program in your parish, school, or religious community. We will be joined by Helen Rose, Faith Outreach Coordinator at the Earth Day Network, who will discuss why they chose the theme of "Protecting Out Species" and all the wonderful resources and toolkits that they have available for your use.
Recording of "Why the Faith Community Holds the Climate Key" Now Available
On February 27th, Professor Ed Maibach from George Mason University's Center for Climate Communication shared how the faith community is vital to inspiring effective climate policy and greater climate action. Dr. Maibach made a compelling case for Catholics and other people of faith to use the power of their core beliefs and public witness to change attitudes toward solving the climate crisis. Watch the webinar here.
As a reminder, we encourage you to use or to share with your priest or deaconhomily helps that the Covenant provides every Sunday! As with all of our resources, they are free for you use. Note, too, that we include short blurbs that can be added to your parish's Sunday bulletin. Pass these along to the parish secretary.
Faithful Action on Climate Change
a) Global Catholic Climate Movement: Eating Simply - Make a commitment to eat less meat this Lent.
b) Franciscan Action Network: 40 Days; 40 Ways - Suggestions for merging your Lenten disciplinary spirit with creation-centered activities.
c) The Inter-religious Working Group on Extractive Industries: Return to God This Lent: Examine Your Relationship with Creation and Your Role as a Consumer. You can download the ecological examen developed by the Jesuits, and a consumer examination developed by the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach. Both documents are also available in Spanish.
d) Interfaith Power and Light: Lent Fast Calendar
Jesuit Apostolic Preferences
The Society of Jesus announced four new "Universal Apostolic Preferences" (UAPs) that will guide its mission for the next 10 years. These UAP's were created through a worldwide discernment process focusing on three main questions: "Where do we hear the call of Jesus today as He carries His cross in the world?" "What is the Church asking of us?" and "Where are we most needed?" The result: Promoting discernment and the Spiritual Exercises; walking with the excluded; caring for our common home; and journeying with youth.
Catholic Divestment: A Prophetic Stand for Our Common Home
The Global Catholic Climate Movement will convene a conference in Washington, DC, on Catholic fossil fuels divestment, to discuss the practical implications of the Church's teaching and of the climate crisis for US Catholic institutions investment practices. The event will take place at Stuart Center, 821 Varnum St NE, Washington, DC 20017 on March 15, 2019. Register and get more information here.
Please do not hesitate to contact Daniela Finamore (firstname.lastname@example.org) should you have any questions.