September 2019 Newsletter
Dear First Name,
The relentless heat has finally eased in the mid-Atlantic region (and much of the US). July was the hottest ever recorded globally and August surely was not far behind. But as I write this, Hurricane Dorian has already leveled the Bahamas and threatens the Southeastern coast, the West braces for another fire season, exceptionally dry weather this summer has much of south-central Alaska on fire. The scientific community has warned us over and over that human activities are the driving force behind climate change and now we are seeing the consequences. We must act with greater urgency.
As you can see below, many Catholics are acting. The Covenant and its partners are generating excellent materials to help the Catholic community celebrate the Season of Creation. Implemented well, this time between September 1 and October 4 can help educate a much larger proportion of Catholics who then become inspired to act. Please do what you can this month and next to ensure that we build this movement. Our lives and the lives of future generations depend on it.
Founding Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant
Action of the Month
Urge Your Senators to Support Climate Action
During this Season of Creation (Sept. 1st-Oct. 4th) the U.S. Catholic community is calling for climate action. Failure to act on the climate crisis will mean increased heat waves, decreased rainfall, loss of biodiversity, and sea level rise. Our most vulnerable neighbors—the poor, the elderly, children—both at home and abroad, will be first and most impacted. But the impacts of climate upon our health, food, water, and economic well-being will affect everyone.
Everyone also needs to be involved in climate solutions. The International Climate Accountability Act (S.1743) calls upon the United States to remain a global leader in the effort to address climate change. It asks the Administration to develop and submit a plan that enables our nation to meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement, which was signed by 193 other nations.
Urge your Senators to support the International Climate Accountability Act (S.1743), a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by 46 Senators. A similar bill in the House of Representatives—the Climate Action Now Act (H.R.9)—passed the House on May 2nd, 2019. To learn more and take action click below.
Catholics Leading the Way
2019 Feast of St. Francis Program Available...Please Share With Your Faith Community
Catholic Climate Covenant’s 2019 Feast of St. Francis program focuses on the issues that will be central during the Special Synod of Bishops on the Amazon this October 6-27—the issues affecting the Amazon Basin and other rainforests, including deforestation, resource extraction, climate change, integral ecology, justice for indigenous populations and support for the essential role they play in protecting critical ecosystems.
Download the free 2019 Feast of St. Francis educational program, “We Are All Connected: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor”. The program will show how Catholic communities can walk in solidarity with the Amazonian Synod participants. The free 90-minute program includes prayers, readings, a short video, discussion questions, and suggested activities (an advocacy action, a tree-planting action, and the establishment/registration of a Creation Care Team). The program includes a Facilitator Guide on how to host a 90-minute educational program, a Participant Program, and an optional Blessing of the Animals liturgy.
The program is intended as a resource to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th. However, each community may schedule it at any time that is convenient and are encouraged to adapt the program to meet their community’s needs.
Faithful Action on Climate Change
Season of Creation
Vatican and Season of Creation
The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Developmentinvites Catholics worldwide to celebrate the Season of Creation (Sept 1st-Oct. 4th). Resources to help your community celebrate are available here. They include denominational liturgical resources, prayers of the faithful, weekly homily guides by Fr. James Hug, S.J., and celebration guides.
On September 1st, Pope Francis released a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation calling on all the faithful to pray, reflect on our lifestyles, and undertake prophetic actions. He also lifted up the world’s youth who “are making their voices heard and calling for courageous decisions. They feel let down by too many unfulfilled promises, by commitments made and then ignored for selfish interests or out of expediency. The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down. They remind us that hope for tomorrow is not a noble sentiment, but a task calling for concrete actions here and now. We owe them real answers, not empty words, actions not illusions.”
Pope Francis’s Prayer Intention for September 2019 is to “pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.” To watch this month’s “Pope Video” go here.
Note: The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is “Protecting the Web of Life”. (The Covenant’s 2019 Earth Day Program resource, All Creation Gives God Praise: Protecting Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Crisis, also focused on this important issue. You may wish to consider using it during the Season of Creation.
Archdiocese of Chicago’s Season of Creation Resource and Call to Action
The Archdiocese of Chicago has put together a website for the 2019 Season of Creation. To read about all their suggested activities go here. Given the momentous climate-related actions that will be happening this September (United Nations Climate Action Meetings and youth led climate strikes), the Archdiocese has designated Sept. 20th as “Climate Action Day” and invited Catholic schools to plan an assembly about climate change and participate in prayer and action. Their wonderful Climate Action Day resource is available here.
Season of Creation Homily Help for September 15, 2019
Father Jacek Orzechowski, OFM provides this homily help, a reflection on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Gospel of Luke 15:1-32) for the Season of Creation. For more homily helps and other resources for Season of Creation see www.seasonofcreation.org.
Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM)-Laudato Si’ Generation and Season of Creation Resources
Catholic youth are organizing events in solidarity with the “Climate Strikes” during the week of Sept. 20-27, 2019. The Global Catholic Climate Movement’s Laudato Si’Generation has a website with information and resources (including bulletin announcements, prayers, and promotional materials) here. GCCM also has resourcesfor those interested in supporting the climate strikes.
To learn more about global Catholic call to action, especially during this Season of Creation, you are invited to join an exclusive webinar on September 4th at 9:00 am Eastern. This webinar will explore why Pope Francis declared a climate emergency. It will be led by the Vatican’s Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam, who coordinates ecology and creation care, and Dr. Lorna Gold, author of the book “Climate Generation: Awakening to Our Children's Future.” Register here to join us on 4 September at 9:00 New York / 14:00 London or to receive the recording.
Ignatian Solidarity Network “Mini-Challenge”
Our partner, the Ignatian Solidarity Network has created a resource where you and your faith community can sign-up to learn about a new environmental issue each season of the liturgical year. You will receive weekly emails with opportunities to learn, pray, and act on a issue during the Season of Creation, Advent, and Lent. Sign-up now to participate in the Season of Creation challenge: Fast from meat or palm oil on Fridays or throughout the Season of Creation.
California Catholic Conference Creation Care Efforts
The California Catholic Conference is not letting the recent California Bishops pastoral statement, God Calls Us to Care for Our Common Home, to be put on a dusty shelf and forgotten. Buoyed by the prophetic statement, they are working on nine active bills that promotes integral ecology, improves air quality, assures a clean water supply, and safeguards environmental health. For more info on their creation care efforts go here.
100% Clean Energy Action
Our partner, the Columban Center for Outreach and Advocacy, is calling on Catholics to support 100% clean energy. You can 1) call your Members of Congress and urge them to support a 100% clean energy economy and/or 2) write a letter-to-the-editor (or LTE) to your local newspaper urging your federal representative to support a 100% clean energy economy. To take clean energy action go here.