The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation. – Laudato Sí 48
Pope Francis continues to remind us that care for creation is connected to care for each other, and that constructing the Kingdom means that first we have to recognize that "we are all in the same boat."
Several of the Society of the Sacred Heart's partners in mission have designed a 21-Day Environmental Justice Challenge, to commence on April 23 and finish on May 16, which is the start of Laudato Sí Week (May 16-24). The Environmental Justice Challenge invites us to pray, learn and act in order to:
- enter into the complex work of understanding the connections between environmental injustices that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), as well as low income communities
- listen to and learn from the voices of environmental justice leaders from frontline communities
- better understand the connections between current and historical environmental injustices
- respond to the call to work towards a lived vision of a world in which all of God’s creation can flourish.
Laudato Sí Week will provide numerous opportunities to reflect on the progress the Church has made toward environmental sustainability, and at the same time invite us to deeper reflection and commitment.
Other opportunities for Earth Day (and beyond) include the following:
Catholic Climate Covenant has developed a one-hour educational program in English and Spanish. Catholic Climate covenant is also sponsoring a screening and discussion of The Condor and the Eagle, a film highlighting how indigenous peoples and communities of color are protecting their peoples, and the air, land, waters, and beings upon which they depend and hold sacred, from profound threats, on April 20. In the United State, Citizen's Climate Lobby is holding its first-ever Catholic Conference on May 15: Call to Action to Care for Our Common Home. In Canada, Kairos invites us to participate with For Love of Creation in a one-hour virtual Earth Day celebration on April 22.
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash