This is a special edition of the monthly Creation Care Teams (CCT) email. On April 25th, Catholic Climate Covenant launched the Catholics Are Still In campaign, a nationwide campaign to garner the U.S. Catholic community’s support for climate action and the Paris Climate Agreement. With our partners, we developed the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration (CCD), which expresses the Catholic imperative to protect and promote human life and human dignity, especially among the poorest and most vulnerable peoples, by protecting our common home and acting on climate change.
To gather the support of hopefully thousands of Catholic parishes, schools, religious orders, colleges and universities, hospitals, and other institutions in the United States, we need YOUR help. As a member of a Creation Care Team, you are one of our most treasured champions. We need your help to reach out to Catholic leaders in your community: your parish priest, your school principal, the president of your Catholic college or university, the superior of your order, the head of Catholic center or institution.
We are extremely thankful that as of 5/9/18, the following archdiocese and dioceses have signed the Catholic Climate Declaration.
- The Archdioceses of: Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Miami, Florida; Newark, New Jersey; and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- The Dioceses of: Buffalo, New York; Duluth, Minnesota; Fairbanks, Alaska; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Lexington, Kentucky; San Angelo, Texas; and Superior, Wisconsin.
If you live within one of these archdioceses or dioceses, please thank your Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop. You might also ask them to send a letter, as Cardinal Tobin has done, to all their diocesan parishes and schools urging them to sign-on to the CCD.
To make this effort as easy as possible, in this email you will find all the resources and materials that you will need to ask a Catholic leader to sign-on their institution. Have a question? Email me! I’m always glad to chat and help.
How will you take action?
God of All Creation
At the beginning of time
You placed a single mandate on humankind-
To be stewards of creation
To replenish and nurture through all generations
What you have made
We kneel today amidst that same creation-
A world that is, in many ways, more splendid than ever
But in too many wasy, scarred beyond recognition
Turn us from our unmindfulness
Help our touch be light
Help us renew the world that supports us
So we may once more know creation
As it was in the beginning
~(Prayer from CRS)
Who can you approach? The Catholic Climate Declaration is not meant to be signed by individual Catholics but by U.S. Catholic institutions through the leaders of these organizations. Catholic community leaders that you could approach to ask include:
Diocese: Bishop (or Cardinal or Archbishop in case of an Archdiocese)
University: President, Director of Institute or Center
Catholic Hospitals: Administrator or CEO
Catholic Organizations: Executive Director or Head of organization
Religious Orders: Superior of a religious order or a province
- Decide if you will approach the leader with a group of other CCT members or if you are approaching alone.
- Perhaps different CCT members can approach different leaders.
- Think beyond your own orbit: Are their nearby parishes or schools you could approach? Is there a Catholic institution or facility with which your community has a relationship?
- Share this email with family and friends and ask them to reach out to Catholic leaders they may know.
How to Participate in Catholics Are Still In Campaign:
Once you have decided who you can/will approach to ask for their support of the Catholic Climate Declaration, familiarize yourself with the resources available to make the task as easy and successful as possible.
1) A one-hour webinar that explains the Catholics Are Still In campaign
2) Bishop Pates (Diocese of Des Moines) letter to the Catholic community urging Catholic leaders to sign the declaration
3) U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration FAQs
4) Step-by-Step Guide to Gathering Signatures for the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration
5) A U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration Leave-Behind sheet to use in meetings with the leader of your Catholic community.
Approaching the Catholic leader: (more information available in the Step-by-Step Guide to Gathering Signatures)
1) Make an appointment to speak with your leadership. You may wish to use this letter template to communicate with the leader.
2) Face-to-face conversations work best, but an email or a phone call will also work well.
During your conversation let them know that the Catholic Climate Declaration:
• Reflects the Church’s long-standing moral basis for the care of God’s creation and climate action, as integral to our care for the life and dignity of all people in our one human family;
• Is an act in prayerful solidarity with the We Are Still In campaign, the largest and most diverse coalition of organizations across American society, calling for climate action; and
• Is supported by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and organized by Catholic Climate Covenant.
3) Give the leader the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration Leave-Behind document which includes a summary of the Catholics are Still In campaign, link to sign, and declaration on the back. You may wish to send the Leave-Behind in a follow-up email so that they can access the hyperlinks. You may also wish to give them a copy of the letter from Bishop Pates to the Catholic community. It was sent to all Catholic institutions listed in the official Catholic Directory, but a friendly reminder of the letter is always a good idea.
4) The institutional leader will need to submit his/her signature by going to this
webpage: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-climate-declaration by June 11th.
5) Follow-up and thank the leader if they sign!
Thank You! You have made a huge contribution to this important effort!
On June 18th, 2018 - the third anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’- we will announce the names of hundreds of Catholic institutions saying “Catholics Are Still In” the Paris Agreement and in support of climate action.
1) Catholic Energies is ready to help your community execute energy procurement, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage projects. Check out what they can do for you in this one-hour webinar.
2) Is your CCT participating in a Beyond a Throwaway Culture: Plastic Reduction project during the next few months? The 2018 Earth Day program invited communities to be creative and plan programs/projects that would reduce the use of single-use plastics. If you are participating please register your project here. If you are not….I invite you to do so! This would be a great program for the summer months. Happy to talk to you about project ideas!