We’re thrilled to introduce Wholemakers, a groundbreaking resource focused on creation care and integral ecology. Developed by young adults for youth and young adults, this resource weaves together the latest climate science with insights from the Catholic tradition to equip youth and young adults to be the faithful protagonists of transformation the world needs. This collaborative project is sponsored by Catholic Climate Covenant and Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, with contributions from the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Office within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth and the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center in Seattle, WA.
For more information on Wholemakers, explore the frequently asked questions below.
Sample one of the videos in the Wholemakers curriculum by clicking on the video above!
Wholemakers is a multi-session Catholic curriculum designed for groups of youth and young adults to explore and deepen their understanding of creation care and climate action. Participants come together to learn, reflect, pray, and take action for our common home during one-hour sessions. The Wholemakers curriculum is interactive and dynamic, consisting of a facilitators guide, slide deck, and appendix of resources.
Rooted in the Catholic faith, the curriculum is intended to be accessible to participants of a variety of faith and non-faith backgrounds. The curriculum has three versions: for use in high schools with age-appropriate material and 45-50 minute sessions; for use among college students; and a discussion-oriented version of the program for use in small group settings within parishes, among friend groups, and in other settings.
This initiative defines “young adults” with the understanding established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “people in their late teens, twenties, and thirties; single, married, divorced, or widowed; and with or without children.” (Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults, USCCB, 1996)
Wholemakers is a collaborative effort of Catholic Climate Covenant and Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, with contributions from the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center in Seattle, WA and the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Office within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth. It includes the contributions of over 30 young adults from across the U.S. Catholic community, in addition to extensive reviews from experts in young adult ministry, community organizing, Catholic theology, and climate science. The core leadership team for this effort was comprised of Emily Burke, doctoral student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the joint Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology program; Anna Johnson, Senior Programs Manager, North America at Laudato Si’ Movement; Anna Robertson, former Director of Youth and Young Adult Mobilization at Catholic Climate Covenant; and Teresa Tsosie, member of the Navajo Nation and Director of Religious Education at St. Jude Parish in Tuba City, AZ.
The Wholemakers curriculum is organized into three tracks: Spirituality & Ecology, Sustainability & Simple Living, and Social Action & Civic Love. The Spirituality & Ecology track is rooted in care of creation as one of the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching and explores indigenous wisdom.* The Sustainability & Simple Living track provides an overview of the science behind the climate crisis and offers reflection on personal action. The Social Action & Civic Love track teaches the principles of community organizing and mobilizes the Wholemakers participants to prayerfully discern a collective action in their community. These tracks can be utilized as stand alone courses.
*When engaging with indigenous wisdom traditions, non-Native people must always be mindful of the risk of harmfully appropriating traditions that are not their own while doing little to mitigate the present-day injustices faced by indigenous communities. The leadership team for this project, which included three non-Native people and one Native person, has grappled with these concerns throughout the writing and review of this curriculum. We have done our best to respectfully represent a small slice of a vast and richly diverse family of indigenous wisdom traditions in the present-day United States while equipping Wholemakers participants with the tools to take meaningful action supportive of present-day Native American communities.
Wholemakers borrows its name from Catholic theologian Ilia Delio, who offers the word “wholemaking” as a fresh interpretation of the word “catholic,” traditionally translated as “universal.” In Making All Things New, she writes, “To follow Jesus is to be a wholemaker, essentially to love the world into new being and life.” With this in mind, the word “wholemaker” suggests how a call to nurture creation toward greater thriving and wholeness is integral to Catholic identity.
To our knowledge, Wholemakers is the only widely available curriculum on creation care and climate action designed for young adults, by young adults, with a grounding in Catholic faith.The entirety of the Wholemakers curriculum uniquely moves participants through a holistic process of faith-filled personal and societal transformation. Rooted in the Gospels and Laudato Si’, current science, realities of those on the margins, and participants’ own lived experiences, this program invites young adults into prayerful examination of how our lives are connected to the climate crisis and into discernment of what our faith calls us to do about it, offering the tools to take substantive action to work towards a better world together.
Please send any additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org