Next Steps: After Pope Francis

June 25, 2015
Catholic Climate Covenant


WHAT A WEEK: For Our Common Home 

It's been a tremendously exciting week here at the Covenant. Our staff read Pope Francis's encyclical at home in the wee hours of the morning, and we were texting each other all the way through with exclamations of joy and surprise. I've got to tell you that there has never been a document read at 5:00 in the morning that moved me like this one did.  

As I read Laudato Si’, I was deeply touched by the clear and compelling case Pope Francis made that our relationships with God, with one another, and with the planet are not as they should be—not by a long shot.  The result is that We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. The encyclical is a call to recovery.  When we think about our place in this created world, Pope Francis says, we must hear "both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."

In the weeks and months ahead, you can count on the Covenant to help explore the deeper meanings of this encyclical.  In the meantime, let’s just simply say…


Next week, I will travel to the Vatican to discuss Laudato Si’.  We're asking for your help. Sign a letter of support to Pope Francis and share the link with friends.  I will give your message to His Holiness. Please share far and wide--because there is a myth in the media that Catholics don't support Pope Francis or climate action, a strong show of unity matters.

Put your name in Pope Francis’s hands. Thanks for spreading the word.


Many of you are taking action in your parishes and in your communities.  We recently asked you to share stories of your successes.  Here is just a sampling:

  • From St. Pius X Parish in Omaha, Rosie told us about her group's work to make power companies more sustainable.  As part of a broad coalition, Rosie and her team got the Omaha Public Power District to close three of its coal-burning power plants.  
  • From the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, American Province, Sister Terri wrote to say that more than 93% of the sisters use renewable energy.  The sisters also made a video about climate change and fracking, available here.
  • From the Church of the Resurrection in Dubuque, Judith wrote to tell us about her parish's "Green Team."  The Green Team inserts sustainability tips into the parish bulletin every week and has even made its annual parish festival "green" through composting and recycling.  The compost pile from this year's festival was the size of two Holstein cows!

We are enormously proud and grateful to be part of a community like this one. Keep up the good work, everyone.



We'd like to extend a special welcome to the supporters who have joined us over the past week. It's wonderful to have you as part of our community.  

Over the coming months, you'll receive updates on Catholics leading the charge for climate solutions and resources to put your faith into action.  If you have any questions or would like to chat, please feel free to contact us here


In the past few weeks, the Catholic Climate Covenant has been mentioned in more than 50 news stories, in outlets that include the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, ABC News, Fox News, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera America, and National Catholic Reporter. Among them:

• Executive Director Dan Misleh in the New York Times here, here, and here, and in the Washington Post here

• Associate Director Lonnie Ellis on PBS

• Project Manager Dan DiLeo in the National Catholic Reporter


Additionally, several Catholic experts have provided extended encyclical coverage:

• Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, on Fox News Sunday 

• St. Elizabeth College theologian Erin Lothes on Yahoo! News with Katie Couric

• Fordham University theologian Christiana Peppard on WNYC 

• Marquette University theologian Jame Schaefer in National Geographic,  Huffington Post, and WDJT 



The Catholic Climate Covenant has produced several FREE resources to help your parish implement and act on Laudato Si’: 

  • Homily helps and other implementation tools are available here. The tools provided are:
    • Homily Helps for June 28, July 5 and August 30
    • Prayers of the faithful
    • Sample bulletin insert
    • Suggested entrance hymns

• A video with Cardinal Rodriguez and encyclical quotes arranged by topic are available here

These resources are provided free of charge as part of our service to the Catholic community.