Creighton University and Catholic Climate Covenant are co-sponsoring a national conference aimed at emboldening Catholics to do more to combat climate change.
“Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on our Common Home” will be held virtually July 13-15. Creighton is sponsoring the event alongside the Catholic Climate Covenant, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.
The biennial conference, which centers on Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on climate change, will open July 13 with keynote remarks from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, and Maureen Day, PhD, assistant professor of religion and society at the Franciscan School of Theology in San Diego. The talk, “A Bold Embrace of Laudato Si’ by the U.S. Catholic Church,” will explore why U.S. Catholics haven’t responded with necessary urgency to the climate crisis.
“The U.S. Catholic Church has not enacted Laudato Si’ commensurate with the climate crisis. This event will empower persons and institutions to more adequately enact Catholic teaching on climate change and live in greater fidelity to the Church’s mission,” said Dan DiLeo, PhD, associate professor and director of Creighton’s Justice and Peace Studies program.
The next two days of the conference will feature interactive breakout sessions facilitated by teams of ministry leaders working to incorporate Laudato Si’ into several areas of the Catholic Church, including advocacy, parochial education and communications. Discussions with conference participants will follow.
"This conference will gather the best Catholic and interfaith leaders in the country sharing how to integrate Laudato Si' into the many ministries of our U.S. Catholic Church, because we all know it's fundamental to our faith and the future of our world,” said Dan Misleh, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant. “We’re encouraged participants will take these lessons and apply them to their own communities and ministries."
The conference will conclude with a closing address by Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University. The address, “Can the Earth Be Healed? Insights from Teilhard de Chardin, SJ,” will consider Catholic spiritual and theological insights that can inspire a more faithful commitment to care for our common home.
The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Attendees are encouraged to make donations to help offset conference costs. Creighton last hosted the conference in June 2019. Presentations were published in the Journal of Moral Theology.
“As an expression of our Jesuit, Catholic identity, Creighton is once again proud to co-sponsor this initiative,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD. “Looking ahead to this conference and beyond, we know that Creighton University and our Church must do even more to avoid catastrophic climate change and sufficiently care for our common home.”