“By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.”
For Catholic Relief Services, Pope Francis’s call to ‘Care for Our Common Home’ has become ingrained in their every day work. In the anniversary month of the release of Laudato si’, President and CEO of CRS Dr. Carolyn Woo wrote a reflection on the impacts the encyclical has made around the world. She outlines the various Laudato si’-inspired acts around the world, including the increasing investment of business leaders in environmentally-sound practices, adaptation programs in Ethiopia, and the introduction of ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ across Africa and Latin America, where the effects of climate change are at their worst.
In addition to the global impacts of the encyclical, Woo shows that the response has been particularly robust in the U.S. as well. Referencing the impact of Laudato si’ in the world of higher education, she writes, “At Catholic Relief Services, our I Am Climate Change campaign has energized students on college campuses across the country, inspiring them to look at their own behaviors and speak out for others, especially by advocating with government leaders.”
Reminding us of the message of the encyclical, she concludes, “God is so generous and bountiful. He has given us a precious gift—our natural world—that will more than take care of our needs. But we must be the stewards of this gift, cherishing and nurturing it, not exploiting it selfishly.”
Read more of Dr. Woo’s reflection here!
How has your college or university been impacted by Laudato si’? Let us know!
In light of recent incidents of racial violence and tension, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on September 9, 2016, the feast day of St. Peter Claver. Catholics across the country are encourage to join together in prayer, reflection, and discernment of action steps to promote peace and racial justice. USCCB president Archbishop Joseph Kurtz has also announced that the USCCB will form a special task force in order to promote peace and heal racial tensions, led by Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta.
Many resources for the Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities are available on the USCCB racism page, including a video, bishops’ statements, prayer and liturgy resources, teaching materials, articles and more. The WeAreSaltAndLight.org diversity and racial justice page also includes additional resources. Additionally, campuses are invited to participate in a WeAreSaltAndLight.org Google Hangout on racial justice on September 14 at 2 p.m. ET, or to watch the event on YouTube.
From January 23 – 26, 2016, students, faculty and staff from Catholic colleges and universities participated in the CSMG 2016 Young Leaders Initiative, along with hundreds of other ministry leaders. We have a lot of pictures to share with you–check them out on the CSMG 2016 Storify! To see what our YLI participants and other attendees thought of CSMG, check out our Twitter feed at #CSMG2016!
For some more resources, be sure to take advantage of the following:
- Catholic Campaign for Human Development Intern Program
- Catholic Climate Covenant
- CRS University
- Global Solidarity Grants from ACCU-CRS
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Finally, be sure to plan ahead! While there is no CSMG in 2017, we will be having Virtual CSMG District Visits on February 20-24, 2017, with a preparatory webinar on February 7. Fortunately, there will be a CSMG in 2018! We hope to see you on February 3-6, 2018 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.!
Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) has recently published their Lenten reflections for the upcoming season, including some daily devotionals authored by representatives of Catholic higher education.
Lift Every Voice: A Lenten Journey Toward Racial Justice is this year’s ISN Lenten blog; it seeks to address “America’s original sin of racism through the lens of Ignatian spirituality and the daily readings.” Throughout the season of Lent, ISN will email subscribers reflections on “how the Gospel calls us to repent, pray, and act in solidarity with those affected by an enduring legacy of systemic and personal racial discrimination.”
The writers of the blog from Catholic higher education include:
- M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D., a Theology Professor at Boston College, specializing in the theological understanding of the human body, gender, and race; the African American Catholic experience, and political or praxis based theologies.
- Fred Pestello, Ph.D., President of St. Louis University, who is known for a strong commitment to Jesuit values in higher education.
- Maureen O’Connell, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at LaSalle University, specializing in racial identity formation, racism, and racial justice in Catholic higher education.
Be sure to sign up for Lift Up Every Voice to receive daily email updates!
How does your college or university reflect on racial justice? Let us know!
In the spirit of the recent Joint Declaration of Religions Leaders Against Modern Slavery, signed by Pope Francis, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops officially invites you to participate in the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. On February 8, 2016, the world will join in prayer for victims and survivors of human trafficking and an end to the atrocity.
For those of you in the Washington, DC area, you are all invited to join the USCCB Anti-Trafficking Program for an Interfaith Prayer Service on Monday, February 8. The event will take place at St. Gabriel’s Church in Washington, DC.
For those of you who will not be able to attend, please visit the Program’s website for promotional fliers and links to resources so that you can promote the Day of Prayer and host your own local event.
If you plan to attend or host a local event or have any questions about the Day of Prayer, please contact the Anti-Trafficking Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Program would love to hear about all the local activities going on.
What is your campus planning for the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking? Let us know!
Earlier this summer, the John A. Ryan Institute of the University of St. Thomas announced the new publication of Respect in Action: Applying Subsidiarity in Business. This book is an expansion and development of the reflection on subsidiarity found in The Vocation of a Business Leader (VBL), one of the most recent documents issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
The document is available as a free download on the Ryan Institute website. Print copies in English are available to purchase for $5.00 per copy plus shipping, with discounts available for orders over 100. There is also a well-developed annotated bibliography on subsidiarity at the same location.
“That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God”
In support of Pope Francis’ April prayer intention for environmental protection, the Global Catholic Climate Movement announces its “Care4Creation Month” prayer campaign by offering resources to help individuals, campuses, and communities pray for the protection of the natural and human environment.
The Care4Creation Month campaign includes reflections on the Stations of the Cross based on Saint John Paul II’s call for an “ecological conversion,” a specially developed set of meditations for the Glorious, Joyful, Sorrowful, and Luminous mysteries of the Rosary, and a Litany to the Holy Trinity, the Creator. There are also posters, liturgical aids, daily meditations, and other help. Click here to see the resources.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement is an international network of around 100 Catholic organizations aiming to mobilize Catholics around the world for climate action, in line with Catholic values, especially the protection of creation and all life.