Tomorrow (Sept. 1) is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation: Pope Francis calls on believers and unbelievers to care for our common home

Thursday, September 1, 2016, has been declared a shared World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities.  This year, Pope Francis issued a video invitation to prayer

in which he calls believers and unbelievers alike to work together to care for our common home.  In August of 2015, the pope issued a letter declaring Sept. 1 as an annual day of prayer for the care of creation, joining the Orthodox Church, which has been doing so since 1989. Citizens are urged to pray and join a local prayer service, or if no local service is offered, representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Episcopalian churches will offer an online prayer service at 8am US EDT.

A Sinking Island

Carteret Islands

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Many people living on four small islands in the Pacific Ocean are being forced to evacuate their homes. This is due solely to rising sea levels. Their homes and beaches are being washed away and their sources of freshwater are being contaminated. This unfortunate circumstance is the exact kind of problem that Pope Francis warned people about. To read more about this issue, the Pope’s advice, and the solutions, check out the full article here.

Pope Francis on the Amazon

Pope Francis attended World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. While there, he addressed the issues that the people there face in preserving the rainforest and the need to act as stewards of the environment. He spoke to the youth and encouraged them to become active in preserving the environment and carrying out holy missions. To read the full recap, click here. To watch a video about some American youth who attended, check out the video below.

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Earth Day Network

As Earth Day approaches, we are reminded of how important it is to get involved with conserving and protecting our environment, regardless or race, religion, or creed. Religions have always been able to push for social change, and the people at Earth Day Network are urging religious leaders and members to call upon their elected officials in government to help make the world more sustainable. You can find the Earth Day Network webpage here, and a message from Pope Francis on Earth day from 2015 below.

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The Francis Effect

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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.