Catholic Colleges and Universities Recognized for their Green Initiatives

Catholic universities that have taken Pope Francis’s messages found in Laudato Si’ seriously have been recognized by the Sierra Club’s national magazine. Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Diego, and Loyola University Chicago have been recognized as members of the top 20 green colleges and universities in North America. According to a press release, the schools were rated as “have displayed a deep and thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues, and encouraging environmental responsibility.”

Loyola Marymount University made significant changes, as seen by their jump in rankings from the mid-60s to number six. They are also the first Catholic college or university on the list. The university now has 90,000 square feet of solar panels, an irrigation system that uses reclaimed water, and a university-led recycling plant. They also plan to “divert all food waste by 2018.”

University of San Diego also made significant improvements jumping from number 83 to number 10 in 2017. The University took Pope Francis’s mission to heart by listing “care for our common home” as part of their university mission. It also operates one of San Diego’s only electronic waste recycling centers, and has saved more than 10 million kilowatt hours and 30 million gallons of water annually since 2010.

Loyola University Chicago still remains ranked in the top 20 schools. This year Loyola students partnered with the Archdiocese of Chicago “to conduct energy audits on Catholic churches, cemeteries and hospitals as well as opened a student-run green café and a Compost Collection Network where students train local businesses to reduce waste.”

The scoring was based on 11 categories including energy, investments, good academics, planning, and water. The rankings showcase universities and colleges green initiatives and allow for indications of the campus’s sustainability efforts.

You can view the full article here.

 

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Jesuit Network Commits to Dreamers

On Tuesday, September 5 the Trump Administration announced that they are repealing the DACA program-which will affect 800,000 undocumented young people.

Standing with the Dreamers, Fr. Timothy Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, released a letter from the Jesuits regarding this decision to repeal DACA. He said that “now more than ever, we commit ourselves to living out God’s law, which calls on us to love the stranger, remembering that our ancestors in faith were once strangers in a foreign land.” The letter speaks of the ways that Dreamers have positively affected Jesuit institutions and how these institutions will continue to support comprehensive immigration reform.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities released a similar statement regarding the Jesuit mission to protect and commit to educating undocumented students.

Jesuit institutions across the nation have come together in solidarity with the Dreamers by hosting rallies and prayer vigils. Presidents of Jesuit universities have issued statements regarding DACA with many calling on Congress to act as soon as possible in order to provide a future for undocumented young persons.

To view the full article, click here.

Catholic Charities USA Responds to Hurricane Harvey

 

Image courtesy of AlexandriaNews.org

As the official domestic relief agency of the Catholic Church, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is assisting with the relief of Hurricane Harvey along with local Catholic Charities Agencies in Texas. Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of CCUSA was present in San Antonio on Labor Day to present nearly $2 million to aid local Catholic Charities agencies. All funds will be going directly to helping those who were affected by the hurricane in receiving basic supplies such as food and shelter.

Catholic Charities Disaster Recovery Team is also using their Disaster Relief Vehicle, presented to CCUSA just last week by the Ford Motor Company, to distribute supplies to impacted areas. Impacted agencies have also been asked to list their specific needs and then CCUSA will distribute the list in order to most effectively aid those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. If you would like to contribute to the recovery efforts, you may text CCUSADISASTER to 71777 to donate or here to donate online.

Read the full article and learn more about the work of Catholic Charities USA here.

Catholic Colleges and Universities Featured in Global Sisters Report

ICYMI: An article on Global Sisters Report, titled “Sisters who blazed trails in higher education preserve heritage, charisms of Catholic universities” highlights the influence of women religious on women’s higher education in America. Catholic sisters opened colleges and universities for young women at a time when only men had access to higher education.

Their legacy is felt in the practices inspired by their charism at their founded schools. Sisters are finding ways to incorporate their charism into the character of the institution, by appointing mission officers dedicated to the charism, making the priorities of the religious community an integral part of the institutional structure, and involving students in visiting retired sisters or praying with the religious community. Additionally, many sisters are focused on working on justice issues, a vital part of many religious communities’ work and charism.

Currently, there are 104 colleges and universities founded by women religious in the United States. To learn more on the status of women religious-founded colleges and universities, read the full article on Global Sisters Report.

Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent Secures Third Release of 2017

ICYMI: Loyola Law School of Loyola Marymount University Project for the Innocent helped release a wrongfully convicted prisoner, receiving national coverage. This is their third successful release of the year. Project for the Innocent client Jaime Ponce has reunited with his family in Mexico after serving 19 years in prison after being falsely accused of a shooting.

Loyola’s Project for the Innocent pursues claims of actual innocence on behalf of those wrongfully convicted of crimes. Students work under the supervision of professors and other attorneys. Since 2011, they have secured the release of five clients.

Learn more about the program and Ponce’s story here.