US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Some bright ideas for Earth Day

By Sarah Sharp | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Sometimes I think I'm a bad daughter-I'm often too busy to think much about my mother and I'm certainly too busy to call home more than a couple of times a month. But I suppose my own mother is lucky for getting a call every couple of weeks.

Mother Earth may only hear from her kids once a year on Earth Day, celebrated throughout much of the world on April 22. On this day we broaden the interpretation of the 4th Commandment to "Honor your father and mother" and remember the earthy mater who cradles all creation in her arms.


The Canticle of the Sun

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In honor of Earth Day, let’s hear from one of the great saints of our church about the wonders of creation. Be sure to share this prayer with your children. 

By St. Francis of Assisi

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.


41 bright ideas for going green

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The earth is warming and we are responsible. This is the undeniable conclusion reached by 2,000 scientists and policy experts contributing to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore.


Special Section: The environment

Online Editor | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Culture

Climate change, nonrenewable resources, mountain top removal. When it comes to the environment, the earth is getting the short end of the stick. As Earth Day approaches this April, our home planet can be a ball of confusion. What should we do? What shouldn't we do? Here are some ideas and resources to help you sort it all out—and recycle it!


How green is your faith?

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
We should honor God the Father by caring for our Mother Earth.

A recent dispute among Christians brought the gospel to the front page once again in August. At issue, according to the Associated Press, was the International Bible Society-Send the Light's plan to have the New Testament delivered with the Sunday paper in 11 metro areas, along with detergent samples and the latest zillion-blade razor.


Change the climate in Washington

By Daniel Misleh | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article News
The poor are victims of our failure to protect the environment.

Important climate change legislation outlined last summer provided funds to help poor countries adapt to the effects of climate change. Just before the Senate was to consider the legislation, however, these provisions had vanished.

"To be honest with you," a Senate aide told representatives of the faith community, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "the provisions don't get us any of the extra votes we need."


Green isn’t just for Ordinary Time

By Renée M. LaReau | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith
Parishes are investing in eco-friendly techniques to save money and the earth.

On a cold Saturday morning last December, Father Charles Morris showed just how far he was willing to go to raise awareness of global warming. Lake Erie was a bone-chilling 36 degrees when the Michigan priest ducked underwater for a "polar bear swim" organized by two nonprofits working to alleviate climate change.

"Anything for the cause," says Morris with a laugh.


Political environment heating up

By Megan Sweas | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare


For voters still trying to decide between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, environmental issues won't likely sway them one way (click on their name to see their respective campaign sites on energy). The two democratic candidates hold very similar views and policy positions on climate change and energy. She calls on all levels of American society-government, industry, and individuals-to contribute to the effort, while he calls climate change "one of the greatest moral challenges of our generation."


Waste not, want not

By Ann O'Connor | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Lifestyle
Earth-friendly living starts at home.

My family's attempts to lessen our impact on the earth remind me of driving a car with a manual transmission for the first time: When you finally take your foot off the clutch, the car lurches forward with a screech, then stalls. Eventually you get the hang of that third pedal and start to enjoy the ride. We, too, have alternately leaped forward (often with a screech) and stalled as we make our way toward a more harmonious, environmentally conscious way of life.