Pope Francis at his installation mass proclaimed, “”Let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!” This statement follows the footsteps of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI who called for ecological conversion.
Pope Francis later produced the great encyclical Laudato Si’. Even earlier we see St. Francis of Assisi who was the patron of ecology as was St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
Anam Duan Ecology Centre The Anam Earth Center for Sustainability and Culture is a dba of Anam Duan. Anam Duan is from the Irish Anam meaning “Life” or “Spirit” and Duan meaning “Song” or “Poem.” Pronounced AN’ um DOO’ an, it means the lifesong that binds together people, communities, cultures, the natural environment, and all life.
Arborvitae Arborvitae, a company based in Ontario, creates deeply reflective opportunities for people to nurture their spirituality through nature and realize the benefit of connecting with earth, air, light and water for their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves.
The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change The Catholic Climate Covenant seeks to show respect for God’s creation by focusing on the link between creation and poverty embodied in the life and ministry of St. Francis and the words of the Psalmist: “The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds.” (Ps 24:1)
The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, whose participants include a dozen national Catholic organizations including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, launched The Catholic Climate Covenant: The St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor to encourage greater personal and shared engagement by the Catholic community to respond to the impacts of climate change.
Catholic Earthcare Australia As an agency of the Catholic Bishops Commission for Justice and Service, Catholic Earthcare Australia’s mission is to help promote understanding among people that Creation is sacred and endangered, and must be protected and sustained for present and future generations yet unborn.
Christian Ecology Link Catholic Page Includes ecological statements by Pope John Paul II.
Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship Followed by commentary by Bill Jacobs, Catholic Conservation Centre, UK.
Earthday Canada Earth Day, which occurs each April 22, began in 1970 to promote constructive and sustainable environmental values, actions and solutions. Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national environmental communications organization and a registered charity, which coordinates Earth Day/Earth Month events. The web site includes the “Ecokids” link that is set up for student learning; information on the Toyota Scholarship fund; and a page about EcoAction Teams. EcoAction Teams is a simple, practical program that Canadians can implement in their own homes. The program provides the tools and resources to reduce your household’s impact on the environment, while saving money at the same time. An extensive list of school speakers can be found on the EcoKids web site. School Earth Day events can be registered on-line and there are programs to assist in event planning.–Mary Louise Colantonio
Eastern Ontario Curriculum Cooperative: Learning in the Great Outdoors In our Catholic schools, we work each day to respect God’s creation: animals, plants, the environment, humanity, and so on. We have environmental action clubs, recycling programs, greenhouses and community gardens, and we celebrate Earth Month and Earth Day every April. The team that gathered to work on this resource recognizes the great work that is already happening in our Catholic schools. We have worked to develop lessons and activities that will help you further develop ecological learning that reflects our Catholic Social Teaching to “Care for Creation”. This resource is meant as a starting point or a stepping-stone for teachers of Kindergarten and grade 1 to grade 6 to take learning outside and incorporate outdoor learning into day-to-day teaching and learning practices.
Education for Justice Care for Creation Resources. Ask your CARFLEO contact at the school board for access.
Envirolink The on-line environmental community Envirolink website provides news, resources and links for a variety of ecological as well as animal rights issues. It has a wealth of resources as well as actions you can take. For teachers they have links to Educational Resources by topic. The website is maintained by volunteers. “EnviroLink is a non-profit organization… a grassroots online community that unites hundreds of organizations and volunteers around the world with millions of people in more than 150 countries. EnviroLink is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date environmental information and news.”–David Eamor
Government of Canada- Climate Change This Government of Canada web site explains climate change, the greenhouse effect and ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are links to resources for teachers and students. Teachers can order a climate change teaching kit or find out what Canada is doing to combat climate change. The site is very simply written so students could use it to research climate change. In the resources for teachers there are also education projects, sources for school project funding and classroom information such as fact sheets and solar car kits available for purchase.–Mary Louise Colantonio
In Search of the Good Chapter 14 on ecology. Supporting Links
Care for Creation Resources of the Order of Friars Minor St. Francis had a profound respect for all of life. He experienced true solidarity with the poor and marginalized. As he embraced Lady Poverty, Francis was freed to live very simply, making peace in every encounter. It is these values that inspire our JPIC efforts. We work to bring about justice and peace in our world, to end violence and war, poverty and oppression and the destruction of our planet. Our efforts are often directed at the systems that cause this oppression and destruction. We work in collaboration with Franciscans and others around the world. We believe that these common efforts are gradually transforming our world.
Ecumenical Patriarch: Life of the Church is an applied ecology and Bartholomew I: Message for World Day of Creation – Full text
Laudato Si and Study Resources
- Catholic Climate Covenant
- Catholic Relief Services
- Canadian Bishops (A Church Seeking Justice: The Challenge of Pope Francis to the Church in Canada) and Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ of Pope Francis is welcomed throughout Canada
- Development and Peace
- Franciscan Action Network
- Global Catholic Movement
- Laudato Si’ Week
- Laudato Si’ Animators
- Redemptorists Province of Oceania
Papal Statements on ecology
- Joint Declaration on the Environment by Pope John Paul II and Orthodox
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople
- Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of the Eighth International Symposium on Religion, Science, and the Environment
- Statements by Pope John Paul II: The Holy Spirit Acts in All Creation and History (Gen Aud. Aug 12, 1998), Creation Must Be Dwelling Place of Peace (Gen Aud. Aug 19, 1998), The
Trinity is Mysteriously Present in Creation (Gen Aud. Jan 26, 2000), God is the Lord of Creation and History (Gen Aud. Nov 19, 1997)
Renewing the Earth An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching A Pastoral Statement of the United States Catholic Conference November 14, 1991
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center This is a very simple website that has a collection of writings on ecology and the environment from a variety of Catholic sources with a catholic slant. It is one page where everything is laid out for you. The website states that “Long before the current ecological movement developed, saints taught respect for all of God’s Creation. The mission of the Catholic Conservation Center is to promote ecology, environmental justice, and the stewardship of Creation in light of sacred Scripture and living Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. The center is faithful to the Magisterium of the Church.”
Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) is a non-governmental organization that provides an activist voice for local Toronto concerns. TEA focuses on five environmental campaigns: smog and climate change, waste, water, toxics, and transit. TEA not only actively lobbies local governments about environmental policy, but also conducts research and educates the public. Teachers can find useful information about local environmental issues under the campaigns link. — Sarah Schmidt
United Nations Environment Network This informative website is an excellent source for researching specific environmental themes such as freshwater, climate change, etc., or environmental issues associated with certain geographical regions. The site includes recent announcements on environmental issues, current international initiatives, and resources that vary from maps and graphics, to State of the Environment reports. — Sarah Schmidt
Web of Creation Web of Creation is an organization dedicated to inspire individuals as well as communities to build a just and sustainable world. One can find numerous ideas regarding humans’ responsibility to become stewards of creation in sections such as Religious education, Personal lifestyle, Worship, Congregational lifestyle and public ministry and advocacy. It is a great site to challenge our current lifestyle as well as wasteful use of resources. It also allows us to see the link between our actions and the degradation of the natural environment. Overall, it is a good site, however I would question and challenge some of their assumptions and views especially the ones dealing with setting up sustainability levels and the notion of overpopulation. — J. Koprianiuk
World Wildlife Fund The World Wild Life Fund website contains information on one of the world’s most influential groups. This site provides information on how members of the WWF are promoting issues to help reduce factors that contribute to global pollution, destruction of our ecosystem, and degradation of the planet’s natural resources. Students and teachers can become politically and socially active by donating to WWF, adopting an endangered species, and discussing the importance of preserving and protection our world. These activities can be implemented in geography, business and religion courses. — Filomena Ferraro
Thanks to Tony Cosentino (Renfrew CDSB) and teachers from York CDSB AQ courses.
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