The Earth — "our common home," as Pope Francis described it in his encyclical Laudato Si' — is undergoing immense change. Each day, the impacts of climate change become more evident, while scientific studies indicate mere decades remain to limit global warming to avert the most serious consequences that come with it.
"Our Common Home" is a special NCR reporting series that through people, places and issues explores the role of faith and religion in responding to climate change, which the pope has called a matter of moral urgency and "one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day."
"The urgent challenge to protect our common home," Francis wrote in his encyclical, "includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change."
After roughly 6,000 actions in 180-plus countries bookended by two main days of demonstrations, the third global climate strike has come to a close. Maria Lourdes Guinto, a parishioner at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Quezon City, told NCR she hoped the strike would "elevate" awareness among friends, family and others.
Wildfires rage in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the globe. Up to one million species face extinction, in large part due to human activities. This has formed the backdrop for the annual Season of Creation, timely tuned this year to the theme of biodiversity.
Our Common Home: Catholic Charities of the Washington Archdiocese announced plans for a 2-megawatt solar array consisting of 5,000-plus panels that will provide enough renewable power to offset the energy needs of 12 of its buildings throughout the district.
Our Common Home: Co-sponsored by the Catholic Climate Covenant and Creighton University, the June conference on climate action aimed to integrate Laudato Si' and its messages on creation care more deeply into the daily experience of Catholics in America. In a sense, to find ways to turn the big ideas into a more widespread reality.
The passenger to my right asked what was bringing me to Nebraska. "A conference about climate change," I told him, an answer that prompted a series of observations on his part that suggested recognition that something big is happening but uncertainty about the extent of the problem.
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church is the first parish to complete a solar project with Catholic Energies, a program aimed at helping church organizations implement energy efficiency projects at no cost to the institution.
Our Common Home: In their 19-page pastoral statement, the bishops called on parents, teachers and catechists to "create an environmental consciousness within all Catholic families" and challenged public officials and business leaders to strengthen water systems and pursue carbon emission reductions . "It is our hope that this pastoral statement will inspire creative, life-giving responses here in California," they wrote.
While hospitals play a pivotal role in treating patients and communities dealing with health issues developing from the fallout of rising temperatures, they also represent a major source of pollutants.