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Prepare for Lent with Interfaith Power & Light’s Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar February 25th, 2014

p29Lent, just over a week away, is a time to repent, reflect, sacrifice, and listen for God. This year, have your congregation join with many others in taking on a Lenten Carbon “Fast.” Each day calls on us to take a different action and each of these actions will reduce our production of climate pollution and help to preserve God’s great gift of Creation.

May this season serve as a wake-up call to be mindful of the ways that our daily choices impact everyone, especially people living in poverty.

Download the calendar now and share it with your church to include in their Sunday bulletin!




Catholic News Service’s Fracking Series Illuminates Controversial Issue February 21st, 2014

Image Source: US EPA

Image Source: US EPA

Catholic News Service reporter, Dennis Sadowski, has written a series of five articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith perspective. Fracking is a complicated issue, yet Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.

By clicking on a title, you will be taken to the article at the Catholic News Service website:

To frack or not to frack: Debate examines America’s quest for energy

Advances in drilling technology led to fracking’s rapid expansion

Religious community chooses nature over riches of a natural gas lease

Faith motivates Catholics to speak out on gas, oil-drilling practices

Families seek recourse in lawsuits for wells considered a nuisance

Catholic voices raise moral concerns in country’s fracking debates


Earth Day 2014 Parish Resources February 21st, 2014

Photo by Christina Herman, all rights reserved

Photo by Christina Herman, all rights reserved

This year’s resource from Creation Justice Ministries is  entitled “Water, Holy Water” and is available for free as an electronic download. The resource delves into the multitude of water issues we face and highlights the spiritual importance of this resource. Sermon tips are included. Download a copy of the resource here…

The Catholic Climate Covenant suggests that in 2014, we join tens of thousands of other Catholics who will learn about the dramatic evidence of climate change and explore Catholic teaching on climate change. This year’s Feast of St. Francis program is “Melting Ice, Mending Creation: a Catholic Approach to Climate Change.”

The program highlights the Pontifical Academy of Science’s Working Group (PAS) statement, Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene. This is combined with a “TED” talk by James Balog, the science photographer behind the documentary film Chasing Ice, who documented some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change.

In their declaration, the Pontifical Academy of Science calls on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. Read the Report and the Summary (first 5 pages) of the report here. 

Access the Melting Ice, Mending Creation materials here…


The Inequality Debate Heats Up! February 14th, 2014

Father-SeamusWhat started out as a slogan that surfaced at the height of the Occupy movement — the 1 percent vs the 99 percent — has morphed into the hotly debated issue of inequality, especially income inequality. Across a broad spectrum ranging from Pope Francis to billionaire Tom Perkins, a variety of reflections, analysis, explanation and apologies have been offered.

The executive director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Christine Lagarde, entered the conversation at the macroeconomic level when she stated recently at Davos, “The gap has been widening tremendously, particularly over the last ten years and it has widened in all corners. You look at the U.S. economy. You look at the Brazilian economy. You look at some of the developing countries although to a lesser degree, but it does… that inequality has expanded.”

Read Fr. Seamus Finn’s latest blog on Huffington Post….



Sign up for the Oblate Earth Literacy program: “Exploring the Sacred Universe” January 24th, 2014

7559905668_3993d162b5_bDaily, all of us, members of the Earth community, are reminded that we live on a rare, precious, threatened planet. At the same time we realize that at its root, ecological devastation is a spiritual issue. Our weeklong “Exploring the Sacred Universe” program addresses our current situation in a spiritual context. Past participants consider the program to have been a transformative learning experience, as they were invited to broaden their vision and include our numinous Universe in all aspects of life.

The dates for the 2014 Earth Literacy Program are August 3-10. Information is available here, or on the La Vista website.

Interested in learning more about a different perspective now? Watch “The Known Universe”, a marvelous video from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It will help you experience the awesome scale of the known universe, as mapped through astronomical observations. In the video, you start at the Himalayas, move through Earth’s atmosphere and the black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang.



Understanding Fracking: Catholic News Service series January 6th, 2014

Hydraulic_Fracturing-Related_ActivitiesDennis Sadowski, staff writer for Catholic News Service, has completed a series of articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith-based perspective. “It was a complicated issue to examine,” he informed Catholic Rural Life. Nevertheless, Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.

The Oblate JPIC Office has been engaging oil and gas companies on social and environmental issues related to fracking.

The six articles of the Catholic News Service series can be found via links posted on the Catholic Rural Life website.

Thanks to National Catholic Rural Life for this information.

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