Dear First Name,
Pope Francis’ daily words of wisdom often hit home for me (as I’m sure they do for you, too). In his March 3 daily homily, the Pope asks us to look at our fasting habits during Lent. He said that there is ample evidence of “false fasting” where we seemingly do the right thing by giving up unhealthy habits or give generously to our churches but we often treat those around us unfairly or unjustly. Going the extra mile—where personal sacrifices translate into empathy and understanding more broadly—is a big challenge for all of us.
For Earth Day, we have produced age-specific programs to help parishes, schools, and religious communities "go the extra mile" on creation care. Check the resources below, and see how your community can best celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd (or another date of your choosing).
Earth Day Program Is Now Available!
We are excited to offer you the 2017 Earth Day Program! This is the second year the Covenant has produced an educational program to help parishes, schools, and religious communities celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd). Once again, we join with the Earth Day Network to observe Earth Day and to embrace our call as Catholics to increase awareness of care for both creation and the poor.
This year we offer three different age-specific programs:
- A one-hour program for adults and high-school students
- A 45-minute program for grades one through eight (with differentiation for older students).
- A 30-minute program for Pre-K/Kindergarten.
Focusing on the theme of “Know the Creator Through Creation”, the programs are wonderful for inter-generational parish programs, schools, and any group interested in exploring how a deeper connection with creation can draw us closer to the Creator of the universe.
Each program includes prayers, scripture readings, a short video, discussion questions, and suggested activities to help your group learn about climate change and Catholic Social Teaching about climate change issues. With the goal to increase climate literacy in our parishes, schools, and religious communities, the programs also offer suggestions for continued educational and advocacy activities on climate issues.
“JUST TRANSITION” WEBINAR
Mark Your Calendar! Join us on Thursday, March 23rd for our next webinar:
Just Transition: Shrinking our Carbon Footprint While Leaving No One Behind
2:00-3:00 pm (Eastern)
Presenters: Dr. Erin Lothes Biviano: Assistant professor of Theology at the College of Saint Elizabeth, New Jersey and Dr. Jessica Wrobleski, Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.
The webinar will focus on:
1) How poor and vulnerable communities bear the biggest burden of the impacts and consequences of climate change and how these same communities bear the biggest burden of the primary cause of climate change–fossil fuel extraction, transportation and combustion.
2) How we address the challenges of the transition to a clean energy economy and the rebuilding of communities left behind as we move away from a fossil-fuels based economy.
3) What Catholic Social Teaching has to say about a just transition to a clean energy economy and the communities impacted by the transition. Special focus will be given to Appalachia and how the decline of the coal economy has devastated an already forgotten region.
Lenten Creation Care Calendar:
Have you downloaded the Lenten Creation Care Calendar? Designed to assist you, your family, parish, school, or religious community be more mindful of the ways that our daily habits impact both “our common home” and those most impacted by our neglect, it is filled with daily ideas for prayer and simple actions to reduce our carbon footprint. You will notice that the second page is upside down. It is set up so you may print and photocopy (double-sided) and use as a bulletin insert.
*The calendar is adapted from a resource from our friends at Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, and Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions.
Mercy2Earth: Our partner, Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is coordinating a Mercy2Earth Campaign to get people to read and take action on the Pope's incredible message last year "Show Mercy to our Common Home”, when he enshrined care for creation as an act of mercy.
GCCM is hopeful that this will be a “big global moment” where Catholics all over the world demonstrate their concern for the climate through action and prayer during #Mercy2Earth Weekend (April 22-23): leveraging that Earth Day (April 22) and Mercy Sunday (April 23) happen back to back. To register for Mercy2Earth Weekend and receive more information on #Mercy2Earth Webinar on March 15 and the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice on March 22 go here.
To help you prepare during Lent for Mercy2earth Weekend, GCCM has created a #Mercy2Earth Examen, patterned after the examination of conscience developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, as a way to deepen in your vocation as “protector of God’s handiwork”.
Together We March for Creation
There are two upcoming opportunities to respond to Pope Francis’ request that the "Church to go into the streets":
The People’s Climate March on April 29th
We are hoping that many of you will join us on Saturday, April 29th in a massive, nationwide series of marches and local actions calling upon Congress to take action on climate change and create sustainable jobs, healthier communities, and a better future. We invite you to join us and other Catholics to lift up both creation and the poor.
We hope you will join us for a Mass on Saturday morning, then walk side by side with us here in Washington D.C. and join us for fellowship and reflection, or join/organize a local march in your community.
ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY: If you are traveling to Washington D.C., we strongly encourage you to make the most of your time by meeting with your Senators and Representative on Friday, April 28th. For those interested, Catholic Climate Covenant will offer an advocacy training session on Friday morning, April 28th.
Let us know you are planning to attend the march or the Advocacy Training. We will keep you updated of any march and/or training plans.
You have the option of coming to Washington, DC, to join the national march, or taking action in your own community. If traveling to Washington D.C is not possible, or if the carbon footprint of a trip would run counter to our message, stay at home and help build local events where you live. To find more information on local marches gohere.
Science March: There is also a March for Science , on April 22nd. This will be an excellent opportunity for the faith community to march side-by-side with the science community and voice our support for science. Again, there will be a large gathering in Washington DC, and several local marches. Let us know if you are attending the DC March for Science here.