The call to communal action to care for God’s creation is intertwined with the core tenets of our Catholic faith. Indeed, our response to environmental issues is one essential way we demonstrate love and respect for God’s Earth and for all His people. “Everything is connected,” the Holy Father Pope Francis writes in his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si. “Concern for the environment … needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.”
Today, climate change and the resulting environmental devastation currently being experienced across the globe make evident the significant challenges we face ahead. Yet the steps of faith we take now to protect our common home can create a difference, for present generations and all the generations to come.
Below are our suggestions for prayer, reflection and action, as well as other resources you may find helpful.
Reflections & Action Challenges
- Integral ecology links care for people and care for God’s creation. How is my concern for my fellow human beings connected to my concern for the environment?
- How often do I think of the poor–both nearby and across the globe–when I make decisions and purchases? How can I improve my habits to be in greater solidarity with them?
- How can I more fully become someone with a heart for the poor, as shown through my thoughts, words, and deeds?
- Learn about how climate change affects the poor & contributes to global migration.
- Discover which of your purchasing habits leads to the greatest carbon output & make a greener choice next time, keeping the poor in mind.
- Donate goods to organizations that serve the unhoused. Give items that will especially help with extreme weather conditions.
- Join the upcoming Laudato Si’ Reflection & Study Series starting 10/5!
- Do we accept Pope Francis’ statement that a “very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system” (Laudato Si’, 23)?
- Do we recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production, and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it?
- What is our reaction to knowing the worst impact of climate change will probably be felt by the poor of developing countries in the coming decades?
- Read an article/book or listen to a podcast about climate change
- Calculate your household’s carbon footprint & research ways to reduce it
- Research ways to be “plastic smart” & reduce plastic consumption
- Research current environmental policy to advocate for
- Come up with 2 of your own ideas to better the environment (& share them)!
- Do you acknowledge the earth has been given to you by God?
- How are you called to restore a harmonious relationship with all creatures, as St. Francis of Assisi did?
- How can you responsibly enjoy the earth’s bounty for our benefit, while at the same time caring for, protecting, overseeing, and preserving the God-given natural world?
- Buy a plant & take good care of it!
- Take a walk or gaze out a window by yourself or with loved ones to enjoy nature’s beauty and/or admire its complexity.
- Take time to engage in mental health exercises in an outside, open space like a backyard or park (if you’re able). Yoga and meditation are great starts!
Are we intentional about how and what we spend our money on as consumers?
Are we mindful of how our choices affect our environment and the lives of the poor?
How can we be a channel of God’s love by serving as good stewards of our common home?
- Buy from local farmers markets and stores
- Compost and minimize waste
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle!
- Use fossil fuel alternatives (i.e. solar panels)
- Turn off the lights to conserve energy
- Practice “Meatless Mondays”
- Support/wear/use products & brands committed to sustainable practices
- Pray with any of the prayers for creation listed on the USCCB website
- Pope Francis:
- USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops):
- Environment page (main)
- Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good
- Prayers to Care for Creation
- Reflection Questions, Prayers, and Quotes
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – A Catholic Perspective on Climate Change
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS) – A Catholic Response to Global Warming
- Catholic Climate Covenant – Take the St. Francis Pledge
- Catholic Climate Covenant – Climate Change Teachings
- Catholic Climate Covenant – Environmental Racism (video)
- CCC (California Catholic Conference of Bishops):
- Archdiocese of Los Angeles:
- Ignatian Solidarity Network (Jesuit lay partners) – Environmental Justice Resources
- U.S. Catholic (Claretian Missionaries) – The Catholic Perspective on the Environment
- National Catholic Reporter – Amid climate threat, Catholics pursue ecological conversion in U.S. church