Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

STEWARDS OF THE EARTH

Catholic Climate Ambassador
     Guest Blog on U.S. Catholic

“Human greed is ‘killing the environment’”
Prayer Resource: “God Saw That It Was Good”
The St. Francis Care for Creation Award from NCCW
Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education:
      A Toolkit for Integration

 

STEWARDS OF THE EARTH

Catholic Climate Ambassador Guest Blog on U.S. Catholic
“Human greed is ‘killing the environment’”
Prayer Resource: “God Saw That It Was Good”
The St. Francis Care for Creation Award from NCCW
Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Integration

The St. Francis Care for Creation Award from NCCW
The National Council of Catholic Women, with the support of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, has launched the St. Francis Care for Creation Award that will recognize schools that put their faith into action to reduce their carbon footprint, care for the “least of these,” and raise the Catholic voice on behalf of the environment and the poor.

To be awarded the St. Francis Care for Creation Award, schools must demonstrate school-wide action across all grade levels in all five promises of the Sr. Francis Pledge (pray, learn, assess, act, advocate) and make a commitment to further good works by signing the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor. Actions/ activities must take place between May of 2011 and May of 2012.

NCCW hopes to award 15 schools in the 2011-2012 school year.  There is no fee to apply and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  Learn more and apply for the St. Francis Care for Creation Award.

Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Integration
Since the Fall, the Coalition has been working with member organization Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and personnel from Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, Santa Clara University, the Catholic University of America and Fontbonne University to create Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration.

Alice Popovici of the National Catholic Reporter recently wrote an article about inspiration, genesis and vision of the Toolkit, saying:  Coalition Project Manager Dan DiLeo and other members of the team discovered, after researching a number of Catholic schools, that not many were drawing the connection between their sustainability work and Catholic social teaching.  She goes on to write that the goal of the toolkit, which will be available as an online booklet when completed, is to help colleges create a framework to integrate Catholic social teaching into campus sustainability programs.

The Toolkit is organized around the five principles of the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor (pray, learn, assess, act, advocate), and the Coalition hopes that it will inspire many Catholic colleges and institutions to become Catholic Climate Covenant Partners by formally endorsing the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor and promoting it as an integrated part of their schools’ mission-based sustainability programs.  Read the entire article from NCR.

Prayer Resource: “God Saw That It Was Good”
Carmelite NGO, a Coalition member, has published a prayer resource to help the faithful celebrate World Environment Day this Sunday, June 5.  The resource, God Saw That It Was Good, is inspired by Blessed Pope John Paul’s 1990 World Day of Peace Message, and contains a wealth of Scripture passages and papal quotes to help individuals, families, schools, parishes and dioceses prayerfully celebrate our Judeo-Christian vocation to “cultivate and care for” God’s good gift of Creation (Genesis 2:15). 
Download the free resource  and learn more about the work of Carmelite NGO here.

“Human greed is ‘killing the environment’”
In anticipation of World Environment Day this Sunday, June 5, the Catholic bishops in South Korea have strongly worded warnings about the impacts of human greed on the environment and warn that continued greed will lead to irreversible environmental degradation.

Stephen Hong of CUA News writes:
In a message released recently ahead of the environmental awareness day, Bishop Matthias Ri Iong-hoon of Suwon, president of the Korean Bishops’ Committee for Justice and Peace said consumerism, devaluation of life and hedonism should be blamed for the recent environmental problems in the news.  Additionally, Hong notes that the Reverend Hwang Moon-chan, president of the NCCK’s (Korean bishops’ conference) Life and Ethics Committee, also blamed human greed for the world’s environmental woes.  He warned that humanity is heading towards destruction and there will be no turning back “if we don’t try to living together harmoniously with other creatures.”  Read more here.

Catholic Climate Ambassador Guest Blog on U.S. Catholic
Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Coalition-member Franciscan Action Network and a Catholic Climate Ambassador, recently wrote a guest blog for U.S. Catholic.  In “The Catholic perspective on the environment,” Carolan addresses climate change through the lens of Catholic teaching and observes that it is because we value our relationship with God and God’s creation that climate change is for us Catholics a profoundly spiritual, ethical and moral issue.  Carolan goes on to point out that the human contribution to climate change represents one of the clearest examples of how human activity can be damaging to God’s wondrous creation.  He observes that if we improperly or disproportionately use the fruit of God’s earth, we not only dishonor him but also we ultimately endanger the livelihood of our poor and marginalized siblings who most depend on God’s creation. He concludes that in order to faithfully address climate change, we need to recover the spiritual values that respect God’s creation. For those of us in economically developed countries, we have a duty to examine the ethics of responsible usage of God’s resources.