Earth Day is Thursday, April 22. In 2019, the Bishops of California, released a pastoral statement – God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home – with a two-fold vision: to animate and energize the implementation of what we are called to do as we face the current environmental crises in the world and to offer a teaching tool that energizes our Catholic faith community and beyond to respond.
To inspire care for our common home, the bishops invited Californians to contemplate what we each can do through our various ‘ecological vocations’:
PASTORAL LEADERS AND CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS
Encourage the faithful to take the St. Francis Pledge to pray, act, and advocate for solutions to climate disruption. Integrate the messages of Laudato si’ in our worship, and share practical tools of teaching that proclaim the encyclical’s themes. Examine opportunities to adopt practices that promote renewable energy, divestment from fossil fuels, water conservation, and environmental health and social initiatives with special attention to the needs of the poor and excluded.
YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS
Seek opportunities to pray in natural surroundings; initiate conversations with older adults about environmental protection and a more inclusive society. Consider how one’s career can be balanced with the call to care for our common home and to engage others in ways to help heal the earth.
PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND CATECHISTS
Help create an environmental consciousness and environmental literacy that promotes the principles of Laudato si’ in every family’s lifestyle—including protecting nature, combatting poverty, and restoring dignity to the excluded. Ensure that environmental education in our learning institutions is based on both authentic scientific and ethical principles (LS 209-215). Expand opportunities for outdoor environmental education. Integrate themes from Laudato si’ throughout all Catholic educational ministries and programs.
Address environmental issues with an integral approach that cares for all of creation’s ecological, social, cultural, and economic dimensions. Enact policies that improve air quality, reduce polluting gases, strengthen water systems, protect precious ecosystems, and support the health of our citizens. Ensure that transition from a fossil-based economy does not burden the poor.
LEADERS IN BUSINESS
Reflect thoughtfully on your vocation in the light of Laudato si’s message regarding economics, finance, and business practices. Evaluate your business’ support of a transition toward sustainability, authentic human development, as well as the impact of commerce on the poor. Consider to what extent your business enterprise, its products, and its marketing meet genuine human needs and promotes the common good.
THOSE WHO WORK THE LAND AND CARE FOR IT
Reflect on how your work can best balance economic production and environmental protection with attention to greater sustainability. With others, foster agricultural economies that are socially inclusive and address the needs of the hungry. Protect and educate the public about the value of ecosystems and how we can best live in a harmonious relationship with nature in the light of climate disruption, fires, and droughts.
ARTISTS AND INNOVATORS
Discover new ways to highlight the beauty of creation and inspire a culture of ecological and human care in the light of the moral applications of the Pope’s encyclical. Evaluate how your art, design and innovation shape human culture. Invite entrepreneurship in technological development that renews human culture and the common good.
Visit www.cacatholic.org/protect-our-common-home for ways you can care for creation as an individual and as a parish.