July 2019 Newsletter
Dear First Name,
It is hard to imagine how Laudato Si’ in the U.S. Catholic Church could have gone any better! Over 230 Catholic leaders from a variety of ministries spent two and a half days at Creighton University listening, learning, and deliberating on paths forward to more fully integrate Pope Francis’s encyclical into the life of our Church. We will synthesize and share those findings with you in the coming weeks. Thank you for your support of this vital effort.
More good news: we have exceeded our $40,000 goal for our end-of-the-fiscal year appeal! Thanks to all of you!
However, in two weeks, our sisters and brothers in faith in Africa will have a similar conference in Nairobi, Kenya. They have appealed to the Covenant to assist them after a potential donor was unable to provide the needed funds. They must raise $48,000 as soon as possible and we ask for your help. Between now and July 15, when their conference, "Laudato Si’ Generation: Young People Caring for Our Common Home," begins, all donations to the Covenant will be sent to our friends in Africa to help with their effort. I ask you to prayerfully consider this need and to be even more generous than you have been with our own efforts. Please donate here.
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Some moments from the Laudato Si’ in the U.S. Catholic Church conference:
Catholics Leading the Way
Save the Date: Pre-register for the Feast of St. Francis Program!
This year’s Feast of St Francis theme, “We Are All Connected: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor,” will complement and accompany the Vatican Synod, “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.” The Amazonian Synod will be held October 6 through 27, 2019, and the Feast of St. Francis (October 4th) presents a wonderful opportunity for Catholics to explore the issues of integral ecology, environmental and climate justice, and the rights of indigenous communities. Our 90-minute educational program will be available in mid-August and may be used by your community in October or any time that is convenient for you.
Pre-register to receive the program and we will automatically email it to you in mid-August.
“Laudato Si’ at Four: Momentum Is Building in the U.S. Catholic Church” Webinar Recording Available
Sr. Sheila Kinsey, a member of the Franciscan Sisters Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (FCJM), Brian Roewe, staff writer for National Catholic Reporter, and Jose Aguto, Catholic Climate Covenant’s Associate Director, reported on how parishes, schools, colleges and universities, healthcare facilities, and religious communities have responded with faith, passion, and enormous creativity to the Pope’s call to care for creation and care for the poor.
To watch the June 18th webinar and to access the PowerPoint slides please click here.
More and More Catholics Going Solar!
Assisted by the project development services of Catholic Energies (CE), Immaculate Conception Parish in Hampton, VA, became the first completed CE project and the first parish in the Diocese of Richmond to convert to solar energy. On June 14, Dan Misleh and Page Gravely from Catholic Energies joined Fr. John Grace and his team to commission a solar system which will save the parish 14% over current electric costs. Those savings will go toward a new Caring for Creation Fund for the parish to further educate parishioners and support future energy-savings projects. To read more about how and why Immaculate Conception went solar, click here. You can learn more about Catholic Energies and some of their projects by taking a look at their newsletter.
Fr. John Grace blesses the new solar panels at Immaculate Conception Church in Hampton, VA:
Faithful Action on Climate Change
California Catholic Bishops Issue Call to Protect Our Common Home
On June 18th, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’, the California Conference of Catholic Bishops issued their own pastoral statement on threats to the state's environment. God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home is a resource “to animate and energize the implementation in California of what Laudato Si' calls us to do, and to offer a dynamic teaching and evangelization tool for our Catholic faith community and beyond, especially for young people.” (Spanish version found here.)
Prepare for Season of Creation (Sept. 1st-October 4th)
Also on June 18th, the Vatican issued a letter encouraging pastors and communities to celebrate the Season of Creation. This year’s Season of Creation theme is the “the web of life” and it will highlight biodiversity. You can learn more and find resources at SeasonofCreation.org. In addition, check out this year’s Earth Day program that also focused on biodiversity.
Pope Francis Appeals for Action on Climate Emergency
The two-day meeting in mid-June 2019 titled the Vatican Dialogues on The Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home: A Dialogue on Risks, Opportunities, Challenges, and Paths, was organized by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Pope Francis addressed the CEOs of some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and appealed that they take action on climate change because “time is running out! Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done, starting today. We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now.”
Moved by the Pope’s appeal, the CEOs signed a joint statement recognizing “that a significant acceleration of the transition to a low-carbon future beyond current projections requires sustained, large-scale action and additional technological solutions to keep global warming below 2ºC while advancing human and economic prosperity.”