BY CHRIS KERR | October 4, 2013
Creighton University, Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School announced today that both their institutions will sign the “Saint Francis Pledge” to Care for Creation and the Poor, led by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, making the schools partners in the national movement for faithful action on climate change.
Gonzaga Preparatory School will be the first high school to become a St. Francis Pledge partner. Creighton University and Gonzaga University joins seventeen other Catholic universities as a partner. This list includes two Jesuit universities, Loyola University Chicago and Seattle University. The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) endorsed the “Saint Francis Pledge” in April 2013, joining a growing list of national Catholic organizations supporting the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change as partners.
The pledge asks individuals to make a difference in five areas: prayer and reflection on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable, learning about climate change, assessing one’s own environmental impact, acting to reduce their impact, and advocating for policies and initiatives that protect the environment and the world’s poor.
More information on the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change is at: http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/
The announcement comes on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the namesake of the St. Francis Pledge. In a Feast Day visit to Assisi, Pope Francis called for care for creation saying, “St. Francis of Assisi bears witness to the need to respect all that God has created … From this city of peace, I repeat with all the strength and the meekness of love: Let us respect creation, let us not be instruments of destruction.”
The Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) is a national social justice education and advocacy organization inspired by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. ISN works primarily with individuals connected with Jesuit universities, high schools, parishes, and social ministries throughout the United States. Constituencies include students, faculty, parish members and staff, alumni, current and former Jesuit Volunteer Corps members, and many others. ISN has over fifty member institutions across the United States. The Ignatian Solidarity Network is an independent 501(c)(3), incorporated in 2004, and currently based in University Heights, Ohio. More information is available at their website: www.www.ignatiansolidarity.net
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.