Catholic Climate Covenant
Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church:
A Conference Series on Our Common Home
Sponsored by Creighton University and Catholic Climate Covenant
“Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home” is a biennial conference series to convene, equip, and inspire Catholics who can more deeply integrate Laudato Si’ and its climate change teaching into the U.S. Church.
The first convening was held at Creighton in June 2019 and the presentations were published in the Journal of Moral Theology. The second gathering will be held virtually July 13-15, 2021. In partnership with Creighton, the 2021 conference expresses Catholic Climate Covenant’s leading role coordinating U.S. Catholic enactment of the Vatican “Laudato Si’ Action Platform.”
The 2021 conference will open on July 13 with a keynote event featuring His Eminence Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Maureen Day, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology. The event, “A Bold Embrace of Laudato Si’ By The U.S. Catholic Church,” will assess why the U.S. Catholic response to Laudato Si’ has not been commensurate with the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis.
On July 14-15, the conference will feature interactive breakout sessions facilitated by teams of ministry leaders working to more faithfully incorporate Laudato Si’ into eight areas of the U.S. Catholic Church:
- Advocacy for God's creation and climate action are essential to the fullness of Catholic faith. Learn the theological foundations of this ministry, the various ways in which it is expressed, and how U.S. Catholics are equipping and galvanizing organizations and individuals to go forth in this work.
- Catholic colleges and universities have a unique opportunity and responsibility to implement Laudato Si’. Learn about the groundbreaking Laudato Si' University Pathways Guidebook developed by the International Association of Jesuit Universities with support from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
- Hear from Catholic editors, reporters, and other communicators about the role media and communications play in lifting up the messages and information from Laudato Si’. Connect to a network of communicators and leave with strategies, examples, and resources to overcome the challenges of communicating about care for creation.
- Creation Care Teams (especially at parishes and dioceses)
- Creation Care Teams are the heartbeat of care for creation in parishes, dioceses, and other Catholic organizations. In this session we offer inspiration, motivation, and a practical road map for building a significant response to the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform in your local organization.
- Environmental Justice
- Climate change and ecological harm disproportionately injure poor, vulnerable, and marginalized persons and communities—especially those of color. Learn from experts in the field as we consider how to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” and integrate environmental justice into the U.S. Catholic embrace of Laudato Si’.
- Preaching for Creation Care
- What does it mean to preach for creation care? This session will offer resources to help homilists seeking to incorporate the wisdom of Laudato Si’ into their preaching and ideas to help parishioners support their pastors in this endeavor.
- Parochial School Education
- Learn how the National Catholic Education Association is working with dioceses, administrators, and teachers in parochial schools to integrate Laudato Si’ into the curricula and form students with a Catholic worldview that integrates theology, science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics.
- Youth & Young Adults
- Hear from young adults in the Catholic sphere about the unique role of young people in mobilizing the U.S. Church for creation care and climate action. Leave with resources for educating and organizing your community and the opportunity to plug into a network of young people activating for our common home.
Each ministry leadership team will share the strategies, plans, and resources being developed with members of their working group. Presentations will be followed by discussion with conference participants.
The conference will conclude on July 15 with a closing address by Sister Ilia Delio, OSF, PhD, Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University. The address, “Can the Earth Be Healed? Insights from Teilhard de Chardin, SJ,” will consider Catholic spiritual and theological insights that can enliven a more faithful commitment to care for our common home.
The 2021 virtual gathering will be free and open to the public but registration is required. At the time of registration, attendees are encouraged to make a freewill donation to help offset conference costs that include Spanish language translations.