Vowed and lay Passionists can find encouragement and guidance for ecological awareness and action not only from our pontiffs and other Church teachings, but also from the unique Passionist charism itself.
In 2015, Pope Francis released his landmark encyclical, Laudato Si’. Widely ,(mis)categorized as “just” an environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’ is actually a bold statement about the deep interwoveness of spiritual, social, and environmental realities. “Everything is interconnected,” writes the Pope who took the name of the patron saint of ecology, “and…genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.” Even before Pope Francis, Saint John Paul II wrote in 1990 that “the ecological crisis is a moral issue.” Pope Benedict stressed that “[p]reservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family”, inseparable from “…the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn….”
“This new pastoral letter highlights the ‘magisterium of the poor’ and continues the tradition of the previous letters, with more than a thousand listenings across Appalachia with special attention to marginalized persons and the devastated earth. [The Catholic Committee of Appalachia has] listened with their hearts as Pope Francis has called us to do.”
Serving the Lost and Forgotten in Appalachia
“Indigenous prophecy meets scientific prediction. What we have known and believed, you also now know: The Earth is out of balance. The plants are disappearing, the animals are dying, and the very weather – rain, wind, fire itself – reacts against the actions of the human being. For the future of the children, for the health of our Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the rest of Creation, we call upon the people of the world to hold your leaders accountable.” Circles of Wisdom: Native Peoples/Native Homelands Climate Change Workshop held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 1998
Fr. Neil Pezzulo, First Vice President of the Glenmary Home Missioners is featured in a recent Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) series exploring Justice and Peace from the perspective of the religious working with those most affected by these issues. Neil works in the Appalachian region of the United States, particularly in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky, where the battle lines over energy, jobs, and environmental justice intersect. Nationally, much of the current conversation has been around a “just transition” from a fossil fuel-based economy to an economy that can create new jobs in renewable energy. Neil feels strongly that men and women religious must work together with local environmental groups where young leaders and new energy are rapidly emerging.
Background for some of the issues that Fr. Neil works with:
The Telling Takes Us Home
The Telling Takes Us Home: Taking Our Place in the Stories That Shape Us, a "Peoples' Pastoral" from the Catholic Committee on Appalachia (CCA) was released in December. It comes on the 40th anniversary of This Land is Home to Me, its first letter in 1975, followed in 1995 by a second letter, At Home in the Web of Life. This latest document wasn't written by the bishops of the region, but is a letter "by-the-people, for-the-people." Its 72 pages flow in a beautiful poetic style. A description of the pastoral in the National Catholic Reporter says it is a "grassroots letter to the world, [and] it springs from multitude of voices: the land, women, coalfield residents, miners, economically vulnerable communities, the homeless, imprisoned, people of color, and the LGBT community -- all of whom are longing for justice."
Link to the full peoples pastoral on Appalachia
Resources to learn more about Palestine and Israel conflicts from a faith perspective.
Every day we are reminded that the reality of the Holy Land is far from peaceful and continues to only get worse. Few conflicts in the world are as challenging and important to understand as that in Palestine and Israel. To help understand the ever-changing "facts-on-the-ground" in Israel and the Occupied Territories, we provide a few select resources.