Save the Date for Feast of St. Francis 2016

On October 4, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assissi. This year, Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) invites us all to join them in making the Feast even more special, in honor of the one-year anniversary of Laudato Si’.

By registering with CCC, individuals, parishes, schools, and universities will have access to the following to the Feast of St. Francis program guide, which includes the following:

  • Prayers and scripture readings
  • Short video with discussion questions
  • Activities
  • Advocacy
  • Resources

Registration will be available later this summer; however, it is never to early to begin plans to host events in honor of the Feast. CCC offers event resources just for colleges:

Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis is a wonderful way to continue practicing the call to care for our common home. Be sure to continue checking CCC’s website for more details!

How will your college or university celebrate the Feast of St. Francis? Let us know! 

How Have you Been Inspired by Laudato Si’?

For the one-year anniversary of Laudato Si’, Catholic Climate Covenant invites us to join them in showing the world how we’ve been Inspired by Laudato Si’. Here’s how some members of the ACCU staff have been inspired:

The ACCU staff have been inspired by Laudato Si’ to conserve water in the office:

Laudato Si Inspires ACCU Staff

Laudato Si’ inspires the ACCU staff to use reusable water bottles or glasses instead of plastic water bottles:

Laudato Si Inspires ACCU

Laudato Si’ inspires ACCU Vice President, Tom Mans, to take the Metro (even now!):

Laudato Si Inspires Tom

How have you been inspired by Laudato Si? Join the campaign!

  1. Download either the “Inspired by Laudato Si’, I have…” or the “Inspired by Laudato Si’, I will…” campaign card.
  2. Fill-in the card with an action you took that was inspired by the encyclical or an action you will take because of the Pope’s call to care for our common home. For examples, like taking the St. Francis Pledge, see CCC’s website.
  3. Take a photo of you holding your card.
  4. Post the photo to your Facebook or Twitter. Remember to include the hashtag #CreationCare and to challenge your friends and family by tagging them.

 

Laudato Si’ Makes an Impact in Jesuit Higher Education

The upcoming one-year anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’ has inspired reflection on the impacts it has had on Catholics around the world, especially institutions of Catholic higher education. In the April 2016 issue of Connections, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ (AJCU) monthly  newsletter, several institutions were featured as having responded to the encyclical with fervor:

  • Laudato Si’ was a “Game-Changer” for Creighton University, where professors of theology, biology, environmental science, cultural and social studies, and communication studies, and sustainability studies have experienced renewed interest and and energy in their studies and coursework.
  • Gonzaga University has taken a “Multidisciplinary Approach” to responding to the encyclical with “deep academic engagement around Catholic social teaching,” encyclical reading groups, inter-departmental panel discussions, lectures, documentary film screenings, and a renewed commitment to sustainability on campus.
  • Food justice and social justice have been major themes for Loyola University Chicago‘s response to Laudato Si’, as well as “eco-education” through conferences focused on poverty and climate justice, lectures, and assisting in the development of a new free online environmental textbook.
  • Marquette University has made a renewed commitment to “Going Green” through participating in research at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, the hiring of the University’s first sustainability coordinator, assisting in the development of the above-mentioned textbook, the LEED certification of two campus buildings, and the focusing of Mission Week on care for creation and sustainability.
  • A reflection on the call to promote and fight for environmental justice, as inspired by Laudato Si’, written by Clint J. Springer,  associate professor of biology at St. Joseph’s University.
  • Santa Clara University has taken the encyclical as a “Charter Document” for its “commitment to climate justice,” as evidenced by the visit of Peter Cardinal Turkson for a conference on climate change, reading groups, the visit of Carolyn Woo of Catholic Relief Services, academic integration of the encyclical, Ignatian reflection, and more.

These institutions of Jesuit higher education are just a few examples of the Catholic response to Laudato Si’.   How has your college or university responded to Laudato Si’? Let us know! 

How Will You Celebrate the Anniversary of Laudato Si’?

June 18 marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s encyclical on “Care for Our Common Home.” In one year, the encyclical has inspired thousands of Catholics to get involved with care for creation, climate and environmental justice, food security, and more. To celebrate the anniversary of this groundbreaking encyclical, join the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) for Laudato Si Week! Here are some ways you can get involved:

We hope you will join us in celebrating the release of Laudato Si’ and all the wonderful impacts it has made on the fight for environmental justice!

How will your college or university participate celebrate the anniversary of Laudato Si’? Let us know! 

 

USCCB’s 10 Tips for Earth Day

Earth Day, the annual day of celebration of the earth and promotion of environmental protection, is around the corner! On Friday, April 22, people around the world will spend the day in neighborhood clean-ups, volunteering in community gardens, and so much more.

Especially in the wake of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, many Catholics will celebrate Earth Day as a day of service and stewardship. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Department of Justice Peace and Human Development shared some ideas for how to celebrate Earth Day:

  1. Get Catholic Climate Covenant’s free, downloadable Earth Day 2016 Program Guide.
  2. With family or friends, pray this Laudato Si’ prayer in English and Spanish.
  3. Watch the video on Care for God’s Creation from the CST101 video series by CRS and USCCB.
  4. Use these resources for liturgy and preaching on the Sunday before or after Earth Day to call attention to our role in caring for God’s creation.
  5. Learn how local community organizations, including those funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, are addressing environmental issues. Join their efforts!
  6. Gift Green Street Park or Drop by Drop to your parish’s religious education program or school.  Both of these children’s books are about kids caring for creation.
  7. Gather with a group of friends and reflect on Laudato Si’ using USCCB’s discussion guide in English and Spanish.
  8. Share this Laudato Si’ bulletin insert, in English and Spanish, in your parish.
  9. Get inspired by what others are doing to act together to care for creation.
  10. Advocate! Participate in this current action alert.

How will your college or university celebrate Earth Day this year? Let us know! 

Announcing the ACCU/Solution Generation Climate Leadership Award

ACCU and Solution Generation are excited to announce a call for entries to recognize Catholic colleges and universities that are especially innovative in their efforts to engage their campus in climate change and care for creation.

The winning ACCU member institution will be awarded a $10,000 for outstanding prioritization of education on climate change, forward thinking sustainability initiatives, and distinctive efforts to engage campus and local communities. The award will be designated toward furthering the institutions efforts around climate change and sustainability.

In addition to the award, another three Catholic colleges and universities will be recognized for their work on climate change and care for creation.

Learn more about the award and apply here by May 2, 2016! Please contact climateleadershipawards@solutiongeneration.org with any questions.

Peace and Justice Resources for Lent

Are you looking for resources to enrich your Lenten journey?  We are pleased to share several resources from our colleagues working for peace and justice:

-The Justice for Immigrants Campaign has produced a toolkit entitled Immigration Reform: Your Lenten Promise, inviting you to pray, fast, learn, give and advocate for just and humane immigration reform, in solidarity with immigrants and refugees.

-Focusing on climate change during Lent?  In anticipation of Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on care for creation and the environment, Ignatian Solidarity Network has released Renewing the Face of the Earth, a Lenten reflection series on protecting God’s creation and fighting climate change.  Sign up for daily updates on the website!  In addition, the Global Catholic Climate Movement has organized a fast for climate justice during Lent 2015.  Catholics from more than 45 countries will fast from food or activities that produce carbon dioxide during each of the 40 days of Lent.  The U.S. fasting date is set for March 16.

-Pax Christi USA has set up a special webpage for Lenten reflections, prayers, and resources.  Visit the webpage to sign up for weekly Lenten reflections!

-Catholic Relief Services is celebrating the 40th year of Rice Bowl, a faith-in-action Lenten program dedicated to changing the lives of the poor through fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  Visit the CRS Rice Bowl site to participate in the program.  You can download the app, watch the new videos on “What is Lent?”, and view simple meatless international recipes to cook during Lent as part of the program.

-USCCB encourages U.S. Catholics to pray, fast, and give during Lent.  Lenten resources are listed on their website, including Pope Francis’ Lenten message and a special Lenten calendar.

Franciscan Action Network Climate Change Webinars

Franciscan Action Network (FAN) sponsors monthly webinars as part of their Climate Justice campaign.  Join FAN on August 7th, 4 p.m. EST, to connect the dots on our journey toward the UN Climate Summit on Sept. 23rd. For more FAN resources and materials from past webinars, head over to the FAN Climate Change Webinar Resources page.