EarthBeat Weekly: Catholic climate group training local leaders

Free online course begins March 23

Children in Hebron, Peru make the case for water as life (Juan Vilela Colchón(

Children in an indigenous community in Peru make the case for water as life (Juan Vilela Colchón)

by Bill Mitchell

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Eager to combine your faith and your concern about the climate crisis in a way that results in effective action? The Global Catholic Climate Movement invites you to become a Laudato Si' Animator. The deadline is March 9 and you can apply here.

There's no charge for the four-week online training course, which includes webinars, readings and collaboration among the participants. GCCM spokeswoman Reba Elliot estimates a time commitment of between 10 and 20 hours total over the four weeks, largely depending on your reading speed. 

With training in climate science as well as church teachings, the program equips participants to become knowledgeable leaders of a variety of intiatives addressing the climate crisis. You'll become a "certified animator" at the point you lead some action or event. Elliot says about 1,500 graduates of the training have become certified since the program began in 2016. 

"Our animators include pastors, retirees and young professional women," Elliot told me in a phone interview this week. "It's not so much about knowledge or skill as it is about commitment and willingness to take action."

Training is offered twice a year, with the next sessions beginning March 23. Apply by March 9.

Here's some of what's new on EarthBeat this week:

Here's some additional climate-related coverage:

 Upcoming event:

For Chicago-area readers, check out this March 29 Interfaith Climate Summit bringing together various faiths to address climate issues. 

You'll find more events like this — virtual as well as in person — on EarthBeat’s Event Calendar. And don't forget to post upcoming events that you're involved in!

Closing Beat

The photo above was taken by Juan Vilela Colchón, a Laudato Si' animator in Peru. He sent this message along with the photo from the Awajun Indigenous Community of Hebron, Peru: "We will continue to advocate in this part of the Peruvian Amazon, creating awareness that we Catholics are firmly committed to the defense and care of the creation of the God of Life: our Common Home, as our Pope Francis reaffirms."  

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Thanks for reading!

Bill Mitchell

NCR Climate Editor

This story appears in the EarthBeat Weekly feature series. View the full series.

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