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April 18, 2016 WBB For PCLs, WBB For Catechists, WBB Catholic Identity, REL Catechetical - K–6, REL Catechetical - Jr High, REL Catechetical - Early Childhood, REL PD - Adult Faith, REL Topic - Morality, REL Catechetical - Adult, REL Catechetical - Intergenerational, REL Asset - Support Article, REL PD - Catechist, REL PD - Leaders, REL PD - Family Faith

Our Faith and Earth Sustainability Support Article

Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22. Earth Day is an annual event, begun in 1970, which is celebrated by countries across the globe and more than a billion people. The goal of Earth Day is to focus energy on environmental issues including clean energy, global warming, and worldwide recycling efforts.

This year we as Catholics are particularly called to consider how we responding to environmental challenges. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home is the first encyclical to be entirely dedicated to the topic of environmental issues. (For more information about Laudato Si or to access an electronic version of the encyclical, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site.) This encyclical demonstrates that environmental issues are a priority of Pope Francis’ papacy. Written to "every person living on this planet," Pope Francis has asked citizens of the world to acknowledge, discuss, and take personal responsibility in meeting environmental challenges.


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The Our Faith and Earth SustainabilitySupport Article reviews Pope Benedict XVI’s call for a commitment to care for creation and examines the particular effect that environmental changes will pose to the poor. This article challenges us to commit to care for God’s creation and to care for those who are poor. It includes suggestions for implementation in class and at home.

Download and share the Our Faith and Earth SustainabilitySupport Article with the catechists and families in your religious education program in conjunction with any Earth Day celebrations and alongside Laudato Si resources and conversation.

You might also wish to download additional resources to help children and families understand, reflect on, and answer the call to be stewards of the environment. The Caring for God’s Creation eBook offers ideas to teach and inspire children to care for creation and can be used at home by families or in a classroom setting. Prayer resources include a Psalm 148 Reflection, named for a beautiful hymn of praise for creation, and the In Thanksgiving for the Gifts of God’s Creation Prayer Card, designed to enhance appreciation of nature’s bounty. The colorful Stewards of God’s Creation Lesson and Activity  teaches children that care for our natural environment is an essential element of our faith.