In releasing Laudato Si’, Pope Francis encouraged all people take its words to heart. Some have sought to do this is by living what is written in encyclical. The Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison has been trying to do that, even before the release of Laudato Si’.
This community seeks to live as stewards of the environment and their neighbors who are less fortunate. Some ways they are achieving this include installing solar panels to cut costs and reinvest the money in charitable programs, and running a local food garden. Members of this community have also helped to install rain gardens and find innovative ways of serving their neighbors. These activities help to bring people closer together as well as care for the planet. To learn more about the Catholic Multicultural Center in Madison, visit their home page here.
In recent history, a new event has been occurring all over the world. In an attempt to generate environmental awareness, various congregations of different faiths have encouraged their members to commute to church via bicycle. This movement has often been stimulated by a blessing of bikes ceremony.
Special services have been held in churches and temples all over the world to bless the bikes, keep the cyclists safe, and remember those who have died in accidents. To read more about this innovative ritual, click here.
If you would like to have your bike blessed and get involved in this movement, check out this website.
The People’s Pilgrimage was not the only religious based event to take place during COP-21. Another event, the People’s March, was organized and demonstrated in major cities around the world. For those who could not attend the convention in Paris, marches were held around the world to demonstrate solidarity with the cause of environmental stewardship and justice. Many people who participated in this march in Paris were also members of the People’s Pilgrimage. However, in Paris there was conflict due to lingering tensions from the November 13th terrorist attack. For more information and personal stories about The People’s March, click here.
With the release of Laudato Si’and the visitation of Pope Francis to the United States, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Americans and Catholic Americans who are concerned with Climate Change. People of different faiths have even admitted to trusting the Pope more because of what he has said. Overall, we are seeing people take on Pope Francis’ views for themselves. To check out a brief summary this phenomenon, click here. For a full PDF on this “effect”, check this out.
COP-21 was recently held in Paris, where leaders from countries all over the world met to discuss potential climate change plans. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people of various faiths made their way to the convention. They journeyed to Paris in a pilgrimage of solidarity. People of all faiths were in attendance to rally together and show how religious consciousness is now linked with environmental stewardship. To get a better look at the involvement of faith communities in COP-21, as well as specific stories about the People’s Pilgrimage, check this out.
Balinese Water Temples have been an integral part of the agricultural rice paddy systems in Bali for over 1,000 years. Water is distributed from the Supreme Water Temple of Bali throughout the land. This distribution cycle involves neighbors meeting in a democratic subak to discuss the synchronization of their planting. This synchronized planting motivated farmers living upstream to allow farmers living downstream to have more water. Cooperation was key, as this synchronization minimized the growing period, which stopped the spread of pests. When the Green Revolution came to Bali, the country tried to plant as much as they could. The results were catastrophic. At first, yields were high and everyone was doing well. Then, due to a lack of synchronization, pests began to devour all of the crops. The religious ceremonies and meetings at the water temples that kept everyone together were no longer being followed. Since then, the Balinese people have reverted to their time tested ways and are flourishing once again. To read more about this, click here.
A documentary explaining all of this in depth is available here at Amazon.com
For an informative YouTube video hosted by Stephen Lansing, check out the feature below.
The Catholic Bishops of Ohio are against an indefinite freeze of Ohio’s clean energy target standards. The Ohio Mandates Study Committee has called for this freeze due to a need for continual studying of energy standards and their impact on the state. The Bishops, however, feel that there is no need to freeze the standards, as alternative energy sources benefit the environment as well as society. Their statement can be found here.
This is not the first time that the Bishops of Ohio have voiced such a stance. Back in 2014, a similar issue arose with SB 310, which proposed the original freeze of Ohio’s advanced energy portfolio standard that was established by SB221. The Bishops voiced opposition to SB 310 at that time. More information about this previous case can be found here.
For general information about the Catholic Conference of Ohio, check out their homepage here.
The beautiful forests of Ethiopia are rapidly disappearing due to human activity. However, the forests around the Ethiopian churches remain intact and teeming with diverse life. Dr. Margaret D. Lowman, known as Canopy Meg, has teamed up with one of these churches to study and survey the wildlife, mostly insects in the area. The children of the church community are being engaged to become the next generation of stewards in order to ensure that the forests and creatures are preserved. Project leaders also aim to help build walls in order to keep these forest areas more protected from human development. Fantastic pictures as well as stimulating videos that give a glimpse into what is going on can be found here.