Caring for Creation

Heeding the Call of Pope Francis

Let us pray...

To begin any meaningful conversation, let us first take our thoughts and struggles to Our Lord in prayer.

What better prayer than the Canticle of Creation, written by Saint Francis of Assisi? Feel free to download and distribute in class, at your parish meeting, or even post a copy at home.

Download Prayer

Laudate Deum

To All People of Good Will on the Climate Crisis

The text, called Laudate Deum, criticizes the lack of commitment the pope has seen over the years to combat climate change and promote the development of those in need. It describes the international community's response to this crisis as weak and warns against the power of artificial intelligence.

The pope says, "Never has humanity had such power over itself, yet nothing ensures that it will be used wisely."

“Laudate Deum”: The Pope’s cry for a response to the climate crisis: Overview

This pdf from Vatican News will give you an overview of Pope Francis’ new document.

"Laudate Deum": Apostolic Exhortation

Read the full "Laudate Deum": Apostolic Exhortation here.

Video: Laudate Deum

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels.

Video: Laudate Deum: Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis

LAUDATE DEUM (Praise God) because “a human being who pretends to take the place of God becomes the worst danger to himself". Eight years after the publication of Laudato si', the reactions and the steps taken have proved to be largely insufficient. Global cooperation is essential to address the climate crisis!

Pope Francis appeals to all people of good will to react, and recalls the responsibility of all to care for God's creation.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has its own site. Check it out for some great resources about migration, ecology, climate change, and more.

Infographic: Laudate Deum

Download a helpful infographic to better explain Laudate Deum.


A Primer on Laudato Si

Dr. Carolyn Woo, the former president of Catholic Relief Services, offers an overview of Laudato Si, complete with explanations of climate change and why urgent action is necessary.

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity, and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching.


What can you do?

What can you do in your parishes, schools, and families to take up Pope Francis' challenge to care for creation?

Take Stock

Conduct an inventory of how well your ministry encourages people to care for God’s creation: Do you incorporate praying for creation? Are there opportunities to learn about the Church’s teaching on the environment? Do you recycle? Do your events use more resources—including food or disposable products—than you need to? Based on your inventory, come up with at least one, practical way you can strengthen this.

Ditch the Bottle

Is your parish, school, or family still using plastic water bottles? Did you know that 3 liters of water is used to package 1 bottle of water? Plastic water bottles are petroleum-based. In the U.S alone, it takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet the demands. An estimated 1,500 plastic bottles end up as waste in landfills or thrown in the ocean every second. Don't let your bottles contribute to this waste.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Are there clothes, plastics, paper, or cardboard at your home, school, or place of work that could be reused or recycled? The U.S. recycling rate is around 34.5%. If we're able to get the rate to 75%, the effect will be like removing 50 million passenger cars from U.S. roads. More than 11 million tons of recyclable clothing, shoes, and textiles make their way into landfills each year

Create a Green Team

With the blessing of your pastor and/or principal, consider proposing a “green team” to your pastoral and finance councils. This team would evaluate parish-wide environmental costs and opportunities—like overall energy usage, recycling, having a community garden, going solar, and participating in community clean-ups. Help your community be more mindful about its carbon footprint and how to show care for our common home.

Save Energy At Home

Swap out incandescent light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Old fashioned light bulbs waste tons of energy, and actually give off more heat energy than light. Install a programmable thermostat that limits when the heating or air conditioning comes on. Put inside lights on timers and outside lights on motion sensors. Replace old appliances with Energy Star appliances. Insulate your home!

Compost Your Scraps

Rather than toss corn cobs, banana and potato peels, apple cores, and those moldy leftovers into the garbage destined for the landfill compost them. The section on landscaping provides resources on how to get started. Homemade compost can be used to fertilize plants, save money on potting soil, and reduce trips to the retail gardening center.

The Pope, the Environmental Crisis, and Frontline Leaders

Pope Francis has been an avid advocate for the Care of Creation. In 2015, he published the encyclical Laudato Si which explored Church teaching regarding caring for our common home, Mother Earth. Now the Holy Father is joined by more environmental advocates in the film, The Letter, to promote the urgent need to address the current ecological crisis and to encourage all people to act!

"What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?" (LS, 160)

Learn More

To help you learn more about how you and your parish, school, and family can help care for the gift of creation, we've searched high and low for the best resources we could find. Click on each resource to be taken to the website we suggest.

Lead the Way

Stay connected and get involved with Catholic Relief Services through their Lead the Way campaign. "By taking action to help the most vulnerable and effect systemic change, we can lead the way to a world where every man, woman and child are able to thrive. Learn how you can use your prophetic voice to make a difference today."

Laudato Si

Pope Francis’ revolutionary encyclical calls for a “broad cultural revolution” to confront the environmental crisis. “Laudato Si” is pretty long, but if you want to go straight to the source, why not start with the original text, available from the Vatican website.

Bulletin Announcements

“Praise be to you, my Lord.” These are the words that open Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and care for God’s creation. These words, quoting St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful canticle, remind us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. Help spread the Pope's message.

What the Bishop's Say

The Catholic Church brings a distinct perspective to the discussion of environmental questions, by lifting up the moral dimensions of these issues and the needs of the most vulnerable among us. This unique contribution is rooted in Catholic teaching calling us to care for creation and for "the least of these." (Mt 25:40)

Catholic Climate Covenant

Urge members of your congressional delegation, write to your representatives, sign the Climate Covenant, and get some talking points for those who struggle to understand science. The CCC provides some great resources for home and work.

Ten Things in your Home linked to Climate Change

Decision-making is hard. Every day we are faced with thousands of decisions: what to eat, where to go, how to get there, what to say, and most recently, who to vote for in the upcoming election. This endless list of questions can be overwhelming. What can you do at home?

Living on the Edge of Climate Change

What is it like to leave where climate change affects your everyday life? Sure, we all live in a place like that, but what about those whose resources are disappearing faster, whose lives are in danger, and whose way of life is in dire straits?

The Vanishing Waters of Bolivia

From Lake Poopó to the Chacaltaya Glacier, Bolivia’s water is disappearing at an alarming rate due to climate change. This is impacting thousands of Bolivians who are having to change the way they live to survive.

Top Ten Takeaways From Laudato Si

The greatest contribution of “Laudato Si” to the environmental dialogue is, to my mind, its systematic overview of the crisis from a religious point of view. Since it is a long document, the folks at America Magazine have offered a summary of the top ten takeaways.