"We are losing our attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation and thus we no longer manage to interpret within it what Benedict XVI calls 'the rhythm of the love-story between God and man.'"
+ Pope Francis
GCCM’s “Eco-Parish Guide” is about to change everything
Talking about Laudato Si’ is one thing. Changing the status quo is another. Now with the help of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, parishes everywhere can take concrete steps to save money, be healthier, and help protect life and the garden of God that is creation.
The Eco-Parish Guide is simple to use, packed with helpful tips, loaded with real examples form real parishes around the world.
And it’s free.
GCCM’s global coordinator Tomás Insua opens the guide with some helpful context about why Catholic communities should download this guide and use it.
Parishes have an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions because as a Church we operate more than 220,000 parishes globally, which accounts for many times more churches, rectories, offices, other parish buildings, and vehicles that, in using conventional fossil fuels for energy, contribute directly to climate change. Energy savings of as much as ten percent can be achieved in a parish simply through conscious and continuous efforts to use less energy. With some modifications or upgrades to facilities, parishes have enjoyed savings of twenty to thirty percent, and even more in some cases. I also want to encourage parishes to embrace renewable energy, as many are already doing all over the world.
In its announcement earlier today, the GCCM said that the guide is being offered as a resource for parishes to take a first step during Laudato Si’ Week, which is being orchestrated to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Holy Father’s encyclical.
Developed in cooperation with GCCM’s international partners, the guide is directed at Catholic parishes globally to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by addressing actions in relation to parish operations, the congregation, and the broader community. Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, the Eco-Parish guide offers an active response to Pope Francis’ call for climate change action in his encyclical, Laudato Si’.
This free comprehensive guide explains how parishes can make a difference by:
- forming green teams
- reducing parish emissions
- engaging parishioners on low carbon lifestyle choices
- advocating for climate justice
- caring for those harmed by climate change
The principal author of the guide was Dr. Gail Kendall, an MIT trained engineer with decades of experience in climate work across the globe. GCCM core team members included Tomás Insua, Christina Leano, Fr. John Leydon, Jacqui Remond, Kevin Roussell, Ciara Shannon, and Marie Venner, and yours truly, with support from other members of the GCCM Steering Committee, staff and volunteers. Romeo Ogmar, Jr. donated his exceptional talents as a graphic artists, and many Catholic parishes were kind enough to share their experience, quotes, photos, and feedback.
In all, this one-of-a-kind document is going to keep lots of parishes busy this year as they make wonderful improvements. The question is, will yours be one of them?
To get started, download the Eco-Parish Guide here.
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About the Blog
Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.