THANK YOU for attending the 2021 Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church conference! It was an amazing experience and an outstanding event. We had more than 2700 people register, witnessed inspiring and information-packed plenaries and breakout sessions, and hopefully, together sparked a renewed commitment to Laudato Si’ in the U.S. Catholic Church!

We invite you to read the National Catholic Reporter article with highlights from the conference.

2021 Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church Conference Recordings

If you missed any part of the conference, below are the all the links to the recordings of the plenaries and breakout ministry sessions, as promised. We encourage you to stay plugged in, and please stay tuned for occasional updates from the different working groups, too.



Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Conference Opening Keynote: "A Bold Embrace of Laudato Si’" with welcome from Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, president of Creighton University and remarks from His Eminence Blase Cardinal Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, and Maureen Day, PhD, assistant professor of religion and society, Franciscan School of Theology

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Wednesday Opening Mass for the Feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, with Rev. Mark Beran, Pastor of St. Augustine Indian Mission, Winnebago, NE, and reflection by Most Reverend Joseph Tyson, Bishop of Yakima, WA.

Wednesday’s Concurrent Ministry Breakout Sessions (Daytime):

Environmental Justice Climate change and ecological harm disproportionately injure poor, vulnerable, and marginalized persons and communities—especially those of color. Learn from experts in the field as we consider how to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” and integrate environmental justice into the U.S. Catholic embrace of Laudato Si’. 

  • Melissa Vargas, Environmental Justice Program Specialist, Catholic Charities – Diocese of Stockton, CA 
  • Ector Olivares, Environmental Justice Program Manager, Catholic Charities – Diocese of Stockton, CA 
  • Jonathan Pruitt, Environmental Justice Program Coordinator, Catholic Charities – Diocese of Stockton, CA 
  • Sharon Lavigne, RISE St. James Founder and 2021 North American winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize 
  • Cheryl Johnson, Executive Director, People for Community Recovery

Preaching for Creation Care What does it mean to preach for creation care? This session will offer resources to help homilists seeking to incorporate the wisdom of Laudato Si’ into their preaching and ideas to help parishioners support their pastors in this endeavor.

  • Dan Misleh, Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant
  • Rev. Michael Connors, CSC, PhD, Associate Professional Specialist in Theology, University of Notre Dame
  • Rev. Guerric DeBona, OSB, PhD, Professor of Homiletics, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology 
  • Suzanne Nawrocki, DMin, Former Adjunct Professor of Homiletics, Aquinas Institute of Theology

Youth and Young Adults Hear from young adults in the Catholic sphere about the unique role of young people in mobilizing the U.S. Church for creation care and climate action. Leave with resources for educating and organizing your community and the opportunity to plug into a network of young people activating for our common home.

  • Anna Robertson, Director of Youth and Young Adult Mobilization, Catholic Climate Covenant
  • Anna Johnson, U.S. Mission Formation Unit Director and Young Adult Empowerment Team Leader, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
  • Emily E. Burke, doctoral student in Community & Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
  • Teresa Tsosie, Member of the Navajo Nation and Director of Religious Education at St. Jude Catholic Parish in Tuba City, AZ

Communications & Media Hear from Catholic editors, reporters, and other communicators about the role media and communications play in lifting up the messages and information from Laudato Si’. Connect to a network of communicators and leave with strategies, examples, and resources to overcome the challenges of communicating about care for creation.

  • Elena Gaona, Director of Communications, Catholic Climate Covenant
  • Stephanie Clary, Digital Editor, U.S. Catholic
  • Bill Mitchell, CEO and Publisher of National Catholic Reporter

Wednesday Evening's Closing Plenary

Update on Vatican Laudato Si’ Action Platform and Covenant Grants Program/Advocacy Efforts” with welcome from Rev. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, PhD, coordinator of the Sector for Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The Vatican’s new Laudato Si’ Action Platform helps seven sectors of the Catholic Church undertake a seven-year journey to realize seven “Laudato Si’ Goals” and achieve total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. Catholic Climate Covenant is coordinating key parts of the Action Platform in the U.S. and this conference is part of that work. Attend this session to learn more about the Action Platform from Covenant and sector leaders, a new national Laudato Si’ awareness and engagement campaign for U.S. Catholics to participate in the Action Platform, and a small grants program. 

  • Paz Artaza-Regan, Program Manager, Catholic Climate Covenant 
  • Rev. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, PhD, Coordinator of the Sector of “Ecology and Creation” at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
  • Sister Mary Jo Nelson, OLVM, president of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters Leadership Team
  • Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, PhD Leadership Conference of Women Religious 
  • Bethany Welch, PhD, Conference of Major Superiors of Men 
  • Michael Terrien, Archdiocese of Chicago 
  • Kat Doyle, Archdiocese of Atlanta 
  • Scott Hurd, Catholic Charities USA 
  • Indu Spugnardi, Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Elizabeth Garlow, Economy of Francesco, USA

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Thursday Opening Mass with Rev. Joseph Nangle, OFM, ministerio Latino at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Arlington, VA

Thursday’s Concurrent Ministry Breakout Sessions (Daytime):

Creation Care Teams (especially at parishes and dioceses): Creation Care Teams are the heartbeat of care for creation in parishes, dioceses, and other Catholic organizations. In this session we offer inspiration, motivation, and a practical road map for building a significant response to the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform in your local organization.

  • Paz Artaza-Regan, Program Manager, Catholic Climate Covenant
  • Catherine Wright, PhD, Associate Professor, Wingate University
  • Kayla Jacobs, Director of Programs for Laudato Si' Ministries, Diocese of Joliet
  • Philip J. Sakimoto, PhD, Creation Care Team, St Pius X Catholic Church, Granger, IN; Director, Minor in Sustainability, University of Notre Dame

Colleges & Universities Catholic colleges and universities have a unique opportunity and responsibility to implement Laudato Si’. Learn about the groundbreaking Laudato Si' University Pathways Guidebook developed by the International Association of Jesuit Universities with support from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

  • Daniel R. DiLeo, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program, Creighton University 
  • Michael Schuck, PhD, Professor of Theology, Loyola University Chicago | Co-Director, International Jesuit Ecology Project, International Association of Jesuit Universities
  • Paula Moore, Vice President of External Affairs, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

Advocacy Advocacy for God's creation and climate action are essential to the fullness of Catholic faith. Learn the theological foundations of this ministry, the various ways in which it is expressed, and how U.S. Catholics are equipping and galvanizing organizations and individuals to go forth in this work.

  • Jose Aguto, Associate Director, Catholic Climate Covenant
  • Daniel R. DiLeo, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Justice and Peace Studies Program, Creighton University
  • Meghan Goodwin, Associate Director of Government Relations, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Marianne Comfort, Justice Coordinator for Earth, Antiracism, and Women, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
  • Chris Kerr, Executive Director, Ignatian Solidarity Network

Parochial School Education Learn how the National Catholic Education Association is working with dioceses, administrators, and teachers in parochial schools to integrate Laudato Si’ into the curricula and form students with a Catholic worldview that integrates theology, science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics.

  • Kathy Mears, Interim President/CEO, National Catholic Education Association

Conference Closing Keynote:

Can the Earth be Healed? Insights from Teilhard de Chardin, SJ” with Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University and Sister Mary Ellen Leciejewski, OP, System Vice President of Environmental Sustainability for CommonSpirit Health