New Resources Available from USCCB

In late spring, the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development released their new website, We are Salt and Light. The new website is based on the U.S. Bishops’ statement, Communities of Salt and Light

Additionally, USCCB’s new website includes success stories featuring ACCU members:

  • The Catholic University of America
  • Lewis University
  • Marquette University
  • St. Thomas University
  • University of Notre Dame

To learn more about the USCCB’s new website, We are Salt and Light, and to view other resources, click here.

Laudato Si Release: Act

Earlier today, Pope Francis released his long-awaited encyclical letter, Laudato Si.  We at ACCU are sharing resources and best practices to help our campuses pray for commitment to care for creation, learn about the encyclical and our call to stewardship, and act upon our beliefs to work for the common good.


ACCU member institutions have acted upon their call to care for creation through a number of sustainability and environmental justice initiatives.

  • The Catholic Climate Covenant, with support from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, and the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, have produced Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration (PDF; 3MB).  Through mission-based initiatives, the Toolkit offers practical suggestions to inspire individuals, families, schools, parishes, and dioceses to follow the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change’s St. Francis Pledge.
  • 29 Catholic colleges and universities have taken the St. Francis Pledge, sponsored by the Catholic Climate Covenant, committing to living out the value of care for creation through reflection, action, and advocacy.  These campuses include: Aquinas College (MI), Cabrini College, Chestnut Hill College, College of Saint Benedict, Creighton University, Gonzaga University, John Carroll University, Lewis University, Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University, Mercyhurst University, Mount St. Joseph University, Neumann University, Rosemont College, Saint Anselm College, Saint Francis University, Saint John’s University (MN), Saint Joseph’s College (IN), Saint Mary’s College of California, Saint Michael’s College, Salve Regina University, Seattle University, St. Thomas More College, Stonehill College, University of Notre Dame, University of Portland, Villanova University, Viterbo University, and Xavier University.
  • The Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability at Seattle University lives out a core tenet of the university mission.  The Center has undertaken a number of initiatives, including supporting faculty and student research through fellowships.  Dr. Trileigh Tucker, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Seattle University, and one of CEJS’s first Faculty Fellows, developed a teaching resource on environmental justice, compiling syllabi, assessment methods, and foundational documents used frequently in courses on environmental justice.
  • Benedictine University in Illinois has received a $46,000 Food Scrap Composting Revitalization and Advancement Program (F-SCRAP) grant from the state to allow for the diversion of food scraps generated in the campus cafeteria and other buildings.
  • In spring 2015, Cabrini College held a conference, “Faith, Climate, and Health”, to examine how climate change affects the health of the most vulnerable citizens.
  • At the University of Portland, professors Dr. Russell Butkus and Dr. Steven Kolmes, teach a course entitled “Theology in Ecological Perspective”, exploring Catholic and Christian teaching and environmental science.

Read more ways ACCU member campuses have undertaken sustainability initiatives on the ACCU website.  Check back frequently as we will post new updates and ways that ACCU campuses react to the Laudato Si to the blog!

2015 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering Recap

From Feb. 7 to 10, more than 500 leaders – including about 100 university students – gathered in Washington, D.C. to step forward in faith for justice and peace. Students and other participants lifted Catholic voices in the public square through 217 meetings with members of congress and their staffpersons. Visit and share the CSMG Highlights page, where a selection of audio recordings and slides from CSMG 2015 keynote and plenary presentations are now available or coming soon. Mark your calendars for CSMG 2016 from Jan. 23-26, 2016 (registration opens in September 2015).

Additionally, you can read students’ reflections on their experience here:

Julio Lara, student at Lewis University

Andrea Price, Peace and Justice Intern at ACCU and student at Georgetown University

Jackie Sardina, intern with the USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Development and student at The Catholic University of America

-View CSMG photos or video