Caring for our Earth is a requirement of our faith, as through this practice we become stewards of creation. In doing so, we are compelled to live and act in ways that protect the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants, whether human or non-human, in caring for creation we show respect and love to the Creator. Our bond to creation primordially calls us to be advocates and disciples in the current issues that environmentally threaten the integrity of our planet. The mitigation of human-induced climate change affects us all and the future of our younger generations.
“Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” — Pope Francis, Laudato Si', 91
Care for our Common Home Monday Online Gatherings
Beginning on Monday, January 22, we will be hosting bi-weekly gatherings online via Zoom. During these 40 minute gatherings (7 – 7:40 p.m.), we will pray, read passages from and reflect on Laudato Si’, and discuss what we are doing in our communities to care for our common home. This online forum will be available every other Monday from January 22 moving forward. Participation is free and easy — you can access the meeting through PC, Mac, iOS, Android, or phone call. To download an online calendar of scheduled gatherings, along with access information, follow this link. Or, A direct link to our Zoom meeting space is here. If you have any questions or needs about these online gatherings, please contact Michael Terrien at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come join us as we pray and work in solidarity to care for our common home!
“This is a watershed moment for the church, for humanity and for the planet which Pope Francis calls our common home. It’s time for the church to be bold — to speak about major issues — and to achieve a new level of relevance in people’s lives.” – Cardinal Cupich
The second encyclical and fundamental text for this work of caring for our common home, Laudato Si’ was published in 2015 by Pope Francis and considered to be the first entirely written by him.
“It must not be supposed that the Church so concentrates her energies on caring for souls as to overlook things which pertain to mortal and earthly life.” (#42) Rerum Novarum, On the Condition of Labor, Pope Leo XIII
“Animated by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Savior of humanity, and upheld by hope, the Christians involves themselves in the building up of the human city, one that is to be peaceful, just and fraternal and acceptable as an offering to God. In fact, “the expectation of a new earth must not weaken but rather stimulate our concern for cultivating this one. For here grows the body of a new human family, a body which even now is able to give some kind of foreshadowing of the new age”. (#37) Octogesima Adveniens Pope Paul VI
“Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.” (#6) Justicia in Mondo, World Synod of Catholic Bishops
“The Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. Thus, in language intelligible to each generation, she can respond to the perennial questions which men ask about this present life and the life to come, and about the relationship of the one to the other.” (#4) Gaudium et Spes, Second Vatican Council
For further reading on Vatican documents and Papal Encyclicals click here [insert PDF with links to encyclicals]
"Our faith dictates that we have to care about and for humankind and we can’t do that without caring for the earth, our common home. In short, we see the assault on the environment as a fundamental matter of right and wrong.” – Cardinal Cupich
Caring for God’s Creation: Resources for Liturgy, Preaching, and Taking Action Parish Resources (Link)
Catholic Climate Covenant: Reduce Your Carbon Foorprint (Link)
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” – Pope Francis
Catholic Conference of Illinois serves as the public policy voice of the Illinois bishops and lay Catholics throughout Illinois.
Join I-CAN – the Illinois Catholic Advocacy Network (Link)
Food Patriots Trailer (Link) Food Patriots is a documentary that focuses on sustainable food systems through eating local, organic and supporting community gardens--an amazing way to build up healthy communities and a healthy planet earth! We encourage you to host a public screening at your parish or school! To request more information about booking a public screening at your parish, please visit: www.foodpatriots.com/screenings.
A prayer for our earth All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
A Christian prayer in union with creation Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you! Son of God, Jesus, through you all things were made. You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes. Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory. Praise be to you! Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail. You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good. Praise be to you! Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you. Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made. Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is. God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you! Amen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (Link) Part One The Profession of Faith Section Two The Profession of the Christian Faith Chapter One I Believe in God the Father 198 Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last,1 the beginning and the end of everything. The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works.
Gaudium et Spes, (nn. 12, 9, 33, 36, 39) (Link) Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World Promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI December 7, 1965
Rerum Novarum (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII May 15, 1891
Mater Et Magistra (n. 236) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John XXIII On Christianity and Social Progress May 15, 1961
Pacem in Terris (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John XXIII April 11, 1963
Populorum Progressio (nn. 22- 28) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Paul VI
Octogesima Adveniens (n. 21) (Link) Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope Paul VI May 14, 1971
Redemptor Hominis (nn. 8, 15, 16) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John Paul II March 4, 1979
Apostolic Journey to the United States of America (Link) Holy Mass at the Living History Farms Homily of His Holiness Pope John Paul II October 4, 1979
Laborem Exercens (nn. 4, 25) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John Paul II September 14, 1981
Address of Pope John Paul II to the scientists on the Occasion on the Study Week (Link) Organized by the the Pontifical Academy of Sciences October 2, 1984
Created Things Have a Legitimate Autonomy (Link) Catechesis of His Holiness Pope John Paul II April 2, 1986
General Audience (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II April 2, 1986
General Audience (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II April 23, 1986
Address to the Study Week on the Subject (Link) ‘A Modern Approach to the Protection of the Environment’ His Holiness Pope John Paul II November 7, 1987
Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (nn. 26, 29, 34, 35) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John Paul II December 30, 1987
Peace With God The Creator, Peace With All Of Creation (nn. 1, 3- 5, 6, 8 - 16) (Link) Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II January 1, 1990
Address to the Study Week on the Subject ‘Man and his Environment. Tropical Forests and the Conservation of Species’ (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II May 18, 1990
Centesimus Annus (nn. 37, 38, 53) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John Paul II May 1, 1991
Address to the Symposium on ‘Science in the Context of Human Culture II’ (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II October 4, 1991
Address to the Study Week on the Subject ‘Resources and Population’ (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II November 22, 1991
Lenten Messages His Holiness Pope John Paul II 1992 (Link) 1993 (Link) 1996 (Link)
Address to the Working Group on the Subject (Link) ‘The Legal and Ethical Aspects of the Human Genome Project’ His Holiness Pope John Paul II November 20, 1993
Orientale Lumen (nn. 9, 11- 12, 14) (Link) Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II May 2, 1995
Evangelium Vitae, (nn. 22, 27, 32, 42) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John Paul II March 25, 1995
Dies Domini (nn. 4, 8 - 30) (Link) Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II May 31, 1998
General Audience / Catechesis (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II January 26, 2000
General Audience / Catechesis (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II August 2, 2000
General Audience / Catechesis (Link) His Holiness Pope John Paul II January, 17, 2001
Ecclesia de Eucharistia (n. 8) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Holy Mass of Corpus Christi (Link) Homily of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI June 15, 2006
Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See for the Traditional Exchange of the New Year Greetings. (Link) January 8, 2007
Meeting of the Holy Father Benedict XVI with the Clergy of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone (Link) August, 7, 2008
Caritas in Veritate (nn. 51- 52) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI June 29, 2009
If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation (Link) Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI January 1, 2010
Apostolic Journey to Germany (Link) Visit to the Bundestag Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI September 22, 2001
Mass, Imposition of the Pallium and Bestowal of the Fisherman’s Ring for the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome (Link) Homily of Pope Francis Solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, 2013
General Audience (Link) Saint Peter’s Square His Holiness Francis June, 5, 2013
Lumen Fidei, (nn. 34, 51 - 52, 54 - 57) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Francis June 29, 2013
Visit to Lampedusa (Link) Homily of Holy Father Francis July 8, 2013
Evangelii Gaudium (nn. 15, 56, 71, 181, 209, 210, 215, 222, 231, 237, 256, 257, 261) (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Francis November 24, 2013
Visit to the Food and Agricultural Organization [United Nations] on the Occasion of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (Link) Address of His Holiness Pope Francis November 20, 2014
Video Message of His Holiness Pope Francis on the Occasion of the Meeting of the National and International Representatives: Expo of Ideas 2015 - Toward the Milan Charter (Link) February 2015
General Audience / Catechesis (Link) April 15, 2015
Laudato si’ (Link) Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Francis May 24, 2115
Show Mercy to our Common Home (Link) Message of His Holiness Pope Francis September 1, 2016
Statement On The World Day Of Prayer For Care Of Creation (Link) Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Bishop Oscar Cantú Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace United States Conference of Catholic Bishops September 1, 2016
Letter To Secretary Of State Tillerson Regarding Care For Creation (Link) February 17, 2017
Bishops Welcome Constructive Dialogue In Congress To Protect Creation And Address Climate Change (Link) March 16, 2017
Bishops Welcome Constructive Dialogue In Congress To Protect Creation And Address Climate Change (Link) March 29, 2017