Fr. Don's Weekly Letter ~ 13 August 2023

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Dear Good People of Saint Bernadette,

The diocese has recently been asking us to provide volunteers to serve as parish delegates with various offices and initiatives in the church. Here are some of your servant leaders:

Care for Creation Network - Pat Creswick
Catholic Charities Liaison - Rick Caporali (currently)
National Eucharistic Renewal - Tom Smith
New Hispanic Committee - TBD
The Saint Lucy Food Project - Nancy Hoskins
Pro-Life Committee - Tom Palumbo
Vocations Promoters - Mary Beth Williams

With so many violent storms and environmental crises, I thought this week I might highlight our diocesan Care for Creation and our relationship with the Catholic Climate Covenant.

In 2006, to address growing ecological awareness and the need to implement Catholic social teaching on ecology within the US Church, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops helped form Catholic Climate Covenant. Inspired by the USCCB’s 2001 statement on climate change, and supported by 20 national partners (which include Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, congregations of religious men and women, and other national organizations), Catholic Climate Covenant helps US Catholics respond to the Church’s call to care for creation and care for the poor.

Their ministry is grounded in the Church’s deep history of teaching on creation, ecology, and the poor. Caring for creation and caring for the poor have been a part of the Catholic story since the beginning, but in recent years St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and especially Pope Francis have added a sense of urgency to their call for Catholics to act on climate change. The US Bishops themselves have been calling for action since 1981.

Catholics do care about climate change and they’re working hard to create solutions. Catholic Climate Covenant is at the center of these efforts. With the approval and support of the United States bishops, they help guide the US Church’s response to the moral call for action on climate change by sharing authentic Catholic teaching on creation and the poor and by informing and inspiring community leaders to take action (education); by sharing stories of those most affected by climate impacts in the public square (public witness); and by providing concrete tools, techniques, and technical assistance to help Catholic peoples and institutions reduce their carbon footprint and to work for justice (resources).

Catholic Climate Covenant can help us answer the call to care for creation and the poor through the sharing of Church teaching, resources, our programs. Loving God’s creation and God’s most vulnerable is at the heart of who we are as Catholics.

Come with your ideas and let’s get active in the parish doing our part to care for creation. Find our table at Parish Life Weekend, September 16-17.

The Lord be with you,