A New Solidarity With Creation
Pope Francis encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home, challenges all of us to care for the Earth and to care for the poor. The encyclical builds on the strong tradition of care for creation, as articulated by St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict and others. IPJC has joined with a group of Catholic parishes, schools and organizations in Western Washington who have come together to support one another in living out the vision of the encyclical. This web page is a hub for information, events and resources for shared use. We hope you find it helpful!
The Care of Creation Committee at Holy Rosary Parish in Edmonds hosted a movie night to spotlight World Water Day on March 21st. They hosted a showing of “Return of the River,” a prize-winning documentary, which tells the story of the dismantling of two dams on the Elwa River to restore the ecosystem of the endangered king salmon and other species of wildlife that have sustained the native Elwa people for hundreds of years. Speaking to an enthusiastic audience of 75 local citizens at the film’s conclusion were Rebecca Wolfe, new Snohomish County PUD commissioner, Hank Landau, a dam engineer, and Rodney Pond, Director of Sound Salmon Solutions. Richard Markistum, a Macah tribal member from Neah Bay in native dress created the atmosphere for viewing the film by telling personal stories about living near the Elwa River estuary at the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula.
Latest Scientific Report on Climate Change
With the release of the new report on climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we learn that the urgency to reduce carbon emissions is even more alarming than previously thought. Scripture tells us to “cultivate and care” for Earth (Genesis 2:14), and yet, the findings of the IPCC report tell us that we are failing to respond to this call. However, hope is not lost as Pope Francis says in Laudato Si’. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to care for Earth for future generations. We call on all people of faith and good will to urge our global leaders to act swiftly by reducing carbon emissions before irreversible damage is done. Read the report or Read the analysis in the New York Times.
IPJC Joins with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and other leaders in supporting the Catholic Climate Declaration, affirming the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
Stories of Hope
On June 2, approximately 175 people of faith came together for Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor: A Laudato Si’ Summit. Our three keynote speakers were both informative and inspirational. Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, provided a summary of Laudato Si’ and its impact on the Church and the world in the three years since it was issued. John Sirois from the Upper Columbia United Tribes spoke about the local impacts of climate change in Washington State, and Caroline Brennan from Catholic Relief Services addressed the impacts of climate change globally. Handouts from the summit are available here.
- Action Plan Worksheet
- Care for Creation Continuum of Action
- Sample Letter
- Organizations and Resources on Creation Care
- A Centro-Laudato Si’ Poem
- Ecological Examen
Climate Action: Leading the Way on Divestment
In September, Seattle University’s Board of Trustees voted to divest from fossil fuels which makes SU the first university in Washington state and the first Jesuit university in the world to commit to fossil fuel divestment. Read about our path to divestment and an interview with CEJS’s Director, Dr. Phillip Thompson, on what’s next for sustainability at Seattle University. Read the full newsletter from Seattle University’s Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.
As part of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Parish Ambassador Corps, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish’s Pastoral Assistant for Outreach, Jennifer Ibach, traveled to Malawi with CRS in July 2018. Read about her experience and how she witnessed the impacts of climate change on local farmers in the “Good News from the Missions Office” September Newsletter (page 5).
Photo courtesy of Jen Ibach/Catholic Relief Services
Our local Laudato Si’ group was recently featured in a cover story in Northwest Catholic entitled “Connecting With God’s Creation.”
It includes many great ideas that you can implement in your community.
During the Season of Creation in 2017, several Catholic parishes, schools and organizations came together to pray, learn and act on creation care. For example Christ our Hope parish sponsored a boat tour of the Duwamish River, during which participants learned about how the river came to be a Superfund site, and what is happening with current cleanup efforts. St. Joseph parish held a Blessing of the Animals event for children at St. Joseph school as well as for parishioners. IPJC, along with other parishes, sponsored presentations by Jeff Renner, former KING 5 meteorologist, on climate change and our faith response. St. James Cathedral hosted the first annual Mass Celebrating the Season of Creation.
- Archdiocese of Seattle Missions Office
- Christ Our Hope Parish
- Earth Ministry
- Maryknoll Northwest Mission Office
- Seattle University Center for Environmental Sustainability & Justice
- Seattle University Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture
- St. James Cathedral Care for Creation Committee