Earth Day 2017

Apr 26th, 2017

Caring for God’s Creation & the Poor: “Global warming continues, due in part to human activity…This is leading to ever more severe droughts, floods, fires and extreme weather events.  The world’s poor, though least responsible for climate change, are most vulnerable and already suffering its impact. For human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life — these are sins.” ~Pope Francis

In honor of Earth Day 2017, Annunciation and Our Lady of Peace Parishes will be celebrating “Caring for God’s Creation and the Poor” during Masses the weekend of April 30.  Pope Francis also recently declared September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989. According to Pope Francis, “The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvelous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” Pope Francis’s attention to creation is not a new focus for the papacy. Especially since 1891, when Pope Leo XIII began the modern tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, many popes have reiterated that care for creation is a moral responsibility and a core commitment of the Christian faith.  Pope Benedict wrote frequently on the need to care for creation.  Our U.S. Bishops have recently as this past March been advocating for the environment in Washington.

So what can WE do?  It seems overwhelming, but there are many things WE can do to help care for creation.  We can take steps in our own lives to reduce pollution and avoid wasting materials and energy.  We can purchase food and items that we know are sustainable and don’t abuse people or land.  We can advocate for our planet by making phone calls and writing letters to politicians. We can donate money to causes that fight global warming and help the poor most affected. We can attend informational sessions and read more about the facts of climate change and human involvement.  We can take the St. Francis Pledge and then Pray, Act, and Advocate on behalf of climate change.  If you take the pledge, you will receive action alerts, strategies, and updates.  Check out these resources for more information. We are all in this together!

For resources and the St. Francis Pledge (under “Programs”):  http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/

For United States Catholic Bishops’ teachings, resources, and actions:

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/

Peace & Justice Committee