Creation Sustainability Ministry, Office of Justice and Peace, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Lent 2013 Resource Guide: A Lenten Journey Cultivating Sustainability to Care for God’s Creation
Each liturgical season, we plan to offer resources and a bulletin announcement for individuals and parishes to integrate the St Francis Pledge into their lives and see the relevance of caring for God’s creation as a precept of faith
PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
Individuals: Each day of Lent pray for a collective spirit of transformation from the degradation you see inflicted against creation, in response to the Ash Wednesday refrain, “Repent and believe in the Gospel”.
During Lent leave an empty water glass on the dining table and at every meal pray for the billion people that have no clean drinking water.
Parishes: During Lent provide a prayer intentions book in the church where parishioners can express sustainability. their petitions for stewardship of creation and include some petitions in the Prayers of the Faithful. Support this process, with bulletin announcements about the St Francis Pledge and creation
Children: When doing CRS Rice Bowl, read the daily reflection and talk with your family about creation sustainability impacting global poverty. Check out the resource link to learn recipes that reflect the diets of people you are standing in global solidarity with at: http://www.crsricebowl.org/
LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change and our responsibility towards God’s creation.
Individually or as a parish faith sharing group do one segment each week of Lent from Catholics Going Green: A Small Group Guide for Learning and Living Environmental Justice, by Walter Grazer (Ave Maria Press).
Read a summary of the conference Catholic Consultation on Environmental Justice and Climate Change at: http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/news/scholars-conference/
ASSESS how we as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations contribute to climate change and environmental degradation by our own energy use, consumption and waste.
To assess individual and parish use of non-renewable resources, practice a carbon fast during Lent. Visit http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/resources/what-you-can-do/ for suggestions on ways to make daily activities more environmentally sustainable and assess your consumption habits.
ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to degradation of the world.
Consider using eco-palms for Palm Sunday this year. Harvested from sustainable forests in a fair trade model, they provide a living wage for farmers in Mexico and Guatemala. The project is supported by Catholic Relief Services. Read http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/eco-palms-sustainable-witness-holy-week for info about eco palms or visit www.ecopalms.org for ordering information.
Start using reusable shopping bags for all your shopping. Launder them on a regular basis to minimize bacterial contact on your purchases, especially for bags used to transport vegetables, fruit and meat.
Visit http://idocst.wordpress.com/ to share your activities that care for God’s creation, by posting your activity in the reply box.
ADVOCATE for Catholic principles in climate change and creation sustainability discussions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.
From the stewardship of creation prayer intentions book, identify three themes resonating with parishioners. Offer educational presentations, dialogue on possible ways these concerns can be addressed and design an advocacy strategy to implement actions that will help mitigate the issues.
From reflecting on Catholics Going Green, offer to coordinate a care for creation ministry at your parish.
Every time we place our feet on the earth, we stand on holy ground, the goodness of creation. We bless God’s holy name by sustainable use of resources, forgetting not all creation’s benefits by respecting the gift with compassion. Yet some people suffer affliction from rising sea waters blotting ancestral homes from the face of creation. Other suffer climate change induced drought, leaving a parched land unable to sustain crops that once fed their family in a land flowing with milk and honey. God hears their cry of complaint and asks we offer respect and kindness to all the oppressed. We cannot exhaust the soil of creation for self-serving consumption, but must responsibly bear fruit for a harvest benefiting the common good. By not grumbling, but cultivating society’s mindset to see their interrelationship with God’s creation, each of us can make lifestyle changes to promote freedom of a sustainable future.
“…The judicial content of the right to a safe and healthy environment is gradually taking form, stimulated by the concern shown by public opinion to disciplining the use of created goods according to demands of the common good and a common desire to punish those that pollute. But judicial measures by themselves are not sufficient. They must be accompanied by a growing sense of responsibility as well as effective change of mentality and lifestyle.” Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 468
Please share with us activities you take to care for creation at your parish and your individual actions. Let us know resources you would like to see on our website. What could we do to help you live the St Francis Pledge? Please contact the Creation Sustainability Ministry, Faith Formation Subcommittee at firstname.lastname@example.org
The St Francis Pledge, as adapted by the Creation Sustainability Ministry, is available on the website as a Word document to use in bulletins and parish resources. Our brochure is also available to download and share with your parish at creationsustainabilitycommittee.org
Barb Born February 15, 2013