This year, Earth Day (April 22) celebrates its 53rd year. Before the federal regulators, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act, the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, amidst an array of significant pollution problems. To raise awareness for the need to regulate behavior that posed a threat to the environment, 20 million Americans demonstrated across the country, and their voices were heard!
In December of that year, President Richard Nixon launched the Environmental Protection Agency.
For Catholics, however, caring for the planet has a much longer history, and, as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops proclaims, “Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.”
Not Just a Slogan …
Although the theology of creation care is rooted in Scripture all the way back to Genesis, a modern framework of this teaching began to emerge in 1891 with Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Labor). This encyclical, a benchmark for the beginning of Catholic Social Teaching (CST), responded to the political, economic and social issues of the Industrial Era, when environmental degradation began to have a dangerous impact. Over the course of more than a century, the CST principle of “care for creation” has continued to develop, with Pope Francis’ 2015 release of Laudato Si’ profoundly illuminating what it means to care for our common home in the 21st century.
7 Goals for Every Weekday
Laudato Si’ outlines seven areas for creation care action, and parishioners have responded graciously. Here are a few examples:
Response to the Cry of the Earth — Many parishes have begun gardens and participated in tree-plantings, including St. Thomas More’s pollinator garden, our religious sisters’ tree-planting at the diocesan Pastoral Center, and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioners planting trees in their Barrio Logan neighborhood.
Response to the Cry of the Poor — Creation Care Ministry has promoted giving up single-use plastics for Lent to reduce the harmful effects of plastic pollution on the poor and vulnerable of our world.
Ecological Economics — At the Creation Care Clergy and Religious Workshop, Father Michael Murphy and Msgr. Mark Campbell shared their experiences as pastors implementing environmentally-friendly practices to include solarization and use of compostable products.
Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyle — St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Vista hosts an excellent community recycling program.
Ecological Education — St. Martin of Tours Academy was named a national green-ribbon school; Creation Care Ministry held a Season of Creation Art Contest for grades 4-12; and numerous creation care workshops have been held throughout the diocese.
Ecological Spirituality — St. Rita’s Parish hosted the diocesan Feast of St. Francis and Season of Creation Mass; Sacred Heart Parish in Coronado maintains a xeriscaped prayer garden; Whispering Winds Camp in Julian offers precious mountain retreat time.
Community Resilience and Empowerment — Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and several creation care-minded members from other parishes stood in solidarity to oppose the opening of a cement warehouse in Barrio Logan that threatened to further degrade the historically poor air quality of the area. And they won their fight!
Ready to Participate?
Creation care calls us to aim for these goals and engage on issues such as climate change; air and water quality; just access to/use of energy resources; environmental degradation due to plastics, toxins and other harmful substances; and the ecological marginalization of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers.
How can you, your family, and your parish get involved with this ministry? Register to participate in our SDCatholic Creation Care annual cycle at https://forms.gle/AnU5MdDFQSqMCU8u7 By doing so, you will be added to our communication list, making sure that you receive notification of Creation Care events and opportunities. This connection will also allow you to share your progress and help us celebrate your successes as we all strive to make Earth Day every day!
Original story by Christina Bagaglio Slentzin the Southern Cross.
This is all virtue signaling for people on the left to try to show they are real Catholics too, despite how almost all of them support legal abortion and vote for pro-abortion Democrats instead of better, alternative candidates. Most of them also support women’s ordination and gay marriage.
It would have more impact if the diocese would embark on a campaign to educate people about the virtue of chastity, which would entail talking about the sins of fornication and artificial contraception and homosexual acts and unions. But Big Mac won’t go there. He’d rather talk about the made-up “sins” of plastic bags and not sorting your recyclables before putting out your garbage.
How about an encyclical or pastoral letter titled Castità Si!
It will never happen under present church leadership.
His mission is to save souls, not worship at the altar of Mother Earth. We do not worship the created, but the Creator. This cardinal needs to get his priorities in order.
CCD is not posting everything that comes from their diocese. Go to the website.
I grew up in Altadena in the 50s, living about a half-mile from the foot of the San Gabriel mountains. The smog back then on the worst days was so bad I couldn’t see the mountains. Oh what a difference California’s policies have made! No more aching lungs and itching eyes! If you watch Columbo reruns from the 70s you get a sense of how bad the air was then, even though efforts had already started to clean things up. So I applaud any efforts to continue caring for the earth, though as always the devil is in the details and larger issues of policy are not easily decided. In my own little world, I have solar panels for my home which recharge my Prius Prime, and I feel very good driving about Pasadena on the 30 mile range battery. Thanks be to God for being able to afford home, panels and Prius Prime. I know many cannot afford any of these, so I humbly thank God.
Your Pius is powered by coal being burned elsewhere to create electricity.
Read it again.
22% from coal, and 34% from natural resources. If you charge your EVcar at home using solar, you don’t need coal. Most electric companies are giving up on coal.
So ……… being a Catholic is no different
than being an arborist, a good gardener or
a banzai tree artist …. No?
The intention of the smog cleanup of LA was the care of human beings primarily, and the environment only secondarily whether anyone knew that or not. If the primary intention of care is for the earth and it’s atmosphere, human beings don’t have a chance. We see this now as humans are being identified as the cause of a declining environment and atmosphere.
For a Catholic institution not to make this distinction is a pretty sorry state of affairs. It’s a nice garden, but how many families with school aged children attend that parish? How many souls are being renovated to love God and neighbor? You don’t have to be a Christian to plant a nice garden, but you do to see the divine value in another human being.
Not saying that a parish with these types of campaigns are exclusive of authentic Christian mission and evangelization, it’s just that priorities are what they are and we’ve seen stuff like this before with the results that come with it.
Well, it is apparent that the nasty nabobs of negativism are posting again on CCD because of their dislike of the diocese of San Diego’s efforts to care for the environment, which the present Pope is encouraging faithful Catholics to do so. Believe it or not, it is possible to do two things at once: promote our Catholic faith and take care of our earthly home.
And a whole lot more.
Christianity should be something that influences every decision.
Unfortunately, people usually struggle with one or more tenets of the Faith.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us sinners.
If the garden were the only story coming out of that diocese, you’d have a point. But it’s not, so you don’t.
One does not have to be a fan of the bishop of San Diego, one can even judge that he is verging on heresy (or worse) in various matters, and still applaud the positive things happening in response to Laudato si in that diocese. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is stupid. Laudato si is a firmly pro-life addition to Catholic Social Doctrine, and it can and should serve to provide a bridge for folks trapped in certain mindsets to cross over into the fullness of Catholic teaching. You have to start with people where they are.
I have an idea for the diocese to be more environmentally friendly: have parishes stop buying the OCP missals and hymnals that are thrown away and replaced every year.
Our parish doesn’t buy them but projects the words onto a screen. Upside is that people don’t have to thumb through to find things, and have their voices lifted instead of having their noses in the books. We are also not confined to their offerings. Downside is that since there are no notes, people lose the ability to read music and sing multiple lines. But the parishioners sing, and pretty well at that compared to most.
the Church of Hey, Whatz Happenin’ Now? !!!
Your solar panels as well as your Prius are subsidized by your fellow citizens. So don’t thank God, thank command economy, redistributionist politicians who fleece John Q. Taxpayer.
There’s no free lunch, my good man.