Make every day Earth Day with “Greening Your Church”

A simple but powerful book offers a “practical guide to Creation Care Ministry for parishes, dioceses, and religious communities.”

You don’t need a degree in engineering to live greener. And you don’t need to be a theologian to inspire your parish to do likewise. You can do all that (and more) with just a little book that covers pretty much everything there is to cover about the practical application of Catholic ecology.

Greening Your Church: A Practical Guide to Creation Care Ministry for Parishes, Dioceses, and Religious Communities (Novalis, 2014) is a must for anyone wanting to bring eco-action out of the intersection of faith and reason. And given that the Holy Father is about to make ecology a significant concern for the Church by building on his predecessors' teachings, we should all be thinking about how to make our parishes and dioceses examples of what Pope Francis will be telling the world.

Written by Norman Lévesque, head of the Office of Creation Care Ministry in the Diocese of St.-Jean-Longueuil, Canada, Greening Your Church covers a good deal of theology and science—and does so in simple, pastoral terms. All this explains why we should green our churches. Then the book offers practical tips to explain how.

Lévesque also offers a handful of examples of small and not-so-small undertakings by parish communities. These might inspire you and others to do similarly. There’s also a helpful listing of saints that have something to say (each in their own way) about ecological protection. Then there's a list of feast days with environmental significance, which is paired with suggested activities for those particular days.

And all this is found in a book of just under one hundred pages.

"We are called to be not only a people of hope, but also a people of action. This book can be a powerful resource as we answer God's call." Archbishop emeritus James Weisgerber

In a previous post about the work of Dr. Erin Lothes, we found from her research that to bring about action, steps must be taken to build knowledge and nurture the virtue of charity. Greening Your Church offers us all three—knowledge, caring, and ways to take action.

And so this Earth Day—and this Earth Week and Month, and as we prepare for the Holy Father’s eco-encyclical—do something for yourself, your parish, your diocese, your religious order, and the planet. Buy Greening Your Church. And give copies to your pastor, parish council, and anyone else that might have some say over how your local church goes about its business.

Then start talking about it. And praying.

My guess is that with the prayers and encouragement of an ever-increasing number of Catholics moved to care for creation, this book will help fulfill the eco-wishes of Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Pope Francis.

Archbishop emeritus [Winnipeg, Manitoba] James Weisgerber sums it up this way in the book's foreword: "The challenge is great, but God's power and love are greater. We are called to be not only a people of hope, but also a people of action. This book can be a powerful resource as we answer God's call."

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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.