Dear First Name,
“There is a certain innocence about beginning, with its excitement and promise of something new.”
- To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, John O’Donohue, 2008.
Amidst the trauma in Las Vegas and as we join the prayers of a nation in mourning for the hundreds of victims, I write tepidly today about a new beginning for Catholic Climate Covenant on the eve of the Feast of St. Francis.
We launch our facilities program, Catholic Energies, with a promise of something new and with an exciting vision: To make the U.S. Catholic Church the most energy efficient religious organization in the world and, in this way, rise to meet the challenges outlined in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, and be a witness to the communities in which we minister.
Beginning with energy efficiency and conservation and expanding to renewable energy and green energy purchasing as well as folding in our educational programs, we believe this program will become a true starting point for livingLaudato Si’ at the local level. From individual parishes and schools to whole dioceses, and from hospitals to universities, Catholic Energies is structured in a way to meet energy conservation, renewable energy and educational demands of any size facility. Visit the website, listen to our webinar and read about the pilot project in this Catholic News Service piece or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please wish us well in this exciting new venture.
Founding Executive Director
Action of the Month:
Ask Your House Representative to Support Bipartisan Dialogue and Action on Climate Change!
The Climate Solutions Commission Act of 2017 (H.R.2326) would establish a bipartisan National Climate Solutions Commission that would recommend policies and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the President and Congress and the States. These recommendations would be based on the latest scientific findings of what is needed to avoid serious human health and environmental consequences of a changing climate. Write to your Representative and ask that they be a climate leader and co-sponsor H.R. 2326.
Faithful Action On Climate Change
Season of Creation Appeal
Thank you to all who have donated to support Catholic Climate Covenant during this Season of Creation. We are so close to surpassing our goal by $1,000! Will you help us make it $6,000?
Feast of St. Francis
Over 2100 people have downloaded the 2017 Feast of St. Francis programand many will be using it in the next few weeks. Please let us know how you are using the program! Send us photos! We can share them in a future newsletter.
To prepare us for this year’s program, Fr. Mike Lasky OSF, Conv. helped us unpack the themes of the Feast of St. Francis program in a Befriend the Wolf: Blessing all God's Creation webinar.
To celebrate St. Francis of Assisi and his call for us to befriend all of God’s Creation, pray with is this prayer featured in this year’s FOSF program:
Each leaf, each petal, each grain, each person, sings your praises, Creator God.
Each creature on the earth, all the mountains and great seas show your glory, Spirit of love.
And yet the hand of greed has patented and plundered your splendour, has taken and not shared your gift, has lived as owner of the earth, not guest.
And so the ice is cracked the rivers dry, the valleys flooded and the snowcaps melt.
Loving God, show us how to step gently, how to live simply, how to walk lightly with respect and love for all that you have made.
Amen! (Linda Jones/CAFOD)
Get Involved in Hurricane Relief
Due to the three hurricanes that have devastated the Gulf coast and the Caribbean, we’ve asked you to donate CRS and Catholic Charities for relief efforts. Thank you to all who generously responded. At this time, we lift up the efforts of the St. Vincent de Paul’s Disaster Services Division who are providing emergency relief and recovery support to families in the affected areas.
Catholics Leading the Way
US Bishops Send Letter of Support for Climate Solutions Act
On Sept. 22nd, Bishop Frank J. Dewane (Venice, FL), Chair, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Bishop Oscar Cantú (Las Cruces, NM), Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace of the USCCB sent aletter of support to the two co-sponsors of the Climate Solutions Commission Act of 2017, Rep. John K. Delaney (D-MD) and Rep. John J. Faso (R-NY).
The bishops expressed their support for the bill as it would establish a bipartisan National Climate Solutions Commission (see Action of the Month above). The Bishops stated, “Bipartisan and economically viable environmental proposals are urgently needed...The Church calls for courageous actions and strategies aimed at promoting an integral ecology that considers together the protection of nature, the need for equitable economic development and the promotion of human dignity, especially that of the poor."
San Diego Archdiocese Launched Climate Change Initiative
Father Emmet Farrell, a retired priest, is coordinating the initiative to form Creation Care Teams at parishes across the diocese and organize actions to protect the environment. The initiative is part of a new diocesan ministry focused on the environment. Watch this wonderful short video highlighting the efforts of one of the San Diego Diocese’s Creation Care Teams, St. James Parish and Academy in Solano Beach.
If you are interested in forming a Creation Care Team in your parish, school, or religious community go to our website to learn more. Registered Creation Care Teams receive a monthly resource email and have exclusive access to a toolkit library to get them started and on the road to sustainable projects and actions. Covenant staff is also available for information and advice on how to get a CCT started and for ideas to ensure the success of your programs and projects.
Jesuit Institutions Recognized for Sustainability Efforts
Several Jesuit Institutions were recognized by the Princeton Review for their efforts to make their campuses green and sustainable. Two schools, Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University ranked in the top 50 sustainable schools. Read more here.
National Wildlife Federation’s Sacred Grounds Certification Program
A wonderful opportunity for parishes, schools, and religious communities is available from national Wildlife Federation. Sacred Grounds™ is a wildlife habitat certification process for congregations, houses of worship, and faith communities, providing an opportunity to link faith and caring for the environment. The program provides an opportunity to receive recognition for undertaking wildlife habitat and land/water stewardship in connection with faith practices. This connection occurs in 3 primary ways:
- A commitment from leadership to integrate habitat stewardship into religious activities.
- Educating and engaging the congregation.
- Connecting these practices to the greater community.