Catholic Climate Covenant celebrates first “U.S. Laudato Si’ Champions Awards” honoring faith and environment leaders

Washington, DC – Catholic Climate Covenant, a national nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and equipping U.S. Catholics to care for our common home and greater climate action, is pleased to announce the winners of its first “U.S. Laudato Si’ Champions Awards.” The winners were announced July 27 at the conclusion of the 2023 Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church Conference.

The ten categories recognize Catholic individuals, families, schools, businesses, dioceses, and other institutions across the United States who have made outstanding achievements in environmental sustainability and stewardship.

“These awardees honor the spirit of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, in prayer, word and deed. Pope Francis echoes the calls of his predecessors, for all people of good will to care for our common home and embrace an ecological conversion,” said Jose Aguto, Catholic Climate Covenant Executive Director. “The winners and all honorees demonstrate remarkable leadership and commitment to the environmental challenges we face. We are blessed to recognize their inspiring achievements. They are not only protecting and changing our world but inspiring others to follow.”

Read details about all the winners here.

Nominations were submitted by Catholic Climate Covenant supporters, partners, laypeople, religious and the public. A volunteer Catholic Climate Covenant committee selected the winners based on a series of criteria including fidelity to the goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, faith-focused work toward sustainability, level of difficulty and scope, the level of commitment required by the work and its influence on local, religion and national efforts.

Catholic Climate Covenant awarded the winners with a hand-painted St. Francis statue, as well as gifts of fruit trees planted in their honor by overseas farmers to help feed families, through our partner, Catholic Relief Services.

The winners in 10 categories are:

Health Care Category

Winner Health Care: Providence Health Care – Renton, WA

Honorable Mentions Health Care: 

Ascension – St. Louis, MO

CommonSpirit – Chicago, IL

University Category 

Winner University: Loyola University Chicago, IL

Honorable Mentions University: 

Saint Peter’s University – Jersey City, NJ

Neumann University – Aston, PA

School Category

Winner School: Brophy College Prep – Phoenix, AZ

Honorable Mentions School: 

Carmel Catholic High School/Michelle Titteron – Mundelein, IL

Bishop O’Dowd High School/Michael Downs – Oakland, CA

Organization Category

Winner Organization: Environmental Justice Program at Catholic Charities, Diocese of Stockton

Honorable Mentions Organization: 

Climate Justice at Boston College – Chestnut Hill, MA

National Catholic Reporter/EarthBeat/Brian Roewe – Kansas City, MO

Religious Order Category

Winner Religious Order: Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes – Fond du Lac, WI

Honorable Mention Religious Order:

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, Inc.) – Maryknoll, NY

Business Category

Winner Business: The Industrial Commons – Morganton, NC

Diocese Category

Winner Diocese: Diocese of San Diego, CA

Honorable Mention Diocese:

Diocese of Davenport, IA

Parish Category

Winner Parish: St. Catherine of Alexandria/St Joan of Arc Cluster Parish – Nashotah, WI

Honorable Mentions Parish: 

Our Lady, Star of the Sea Creation Care Team – Marblehead, MA

St. Camillus Parish – Silver Spring, MD

Family Category

Winner Family: Brenna Cussen-Anglada and Eric Anglada – Cuba City, WI

Honorable Mention Family:

Carol and Henry Gonzalez – Pittsburgh, PA

Individual Category

Winner Individual: Rev. James Flynn – Louisville, KY

Winner Individual: Herman Barahona – Sacramento, CA

Winner Individual: Mary Myers – Mokena, IL

Winner Individual: Sr. Kathleen Deignan – New Rochelle, NY

Honorable Mentions Individual:

Fr. Emmett Farrell – San Diego, CA 

Yanny Salom – Jacksonville, FL

Sr. Leanne Jablonski – Dayton, OH


About Catholic Climate Covenant:

Catholic Climate Covenant is a national nonprofit that with 20 partners inspires and equips U.S. Catholics to care for creation by responding to the Church’s call to care for the environment, our Common Home. Through education, outreach, and advocacy, the Covenant strives to promote environmental sustainability and ecological conversion among U.S. Catholic communities.

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