BY ISN STAFF | June 17, 2015
Jesuit institutions across the country will be uniting in prayer today (Thursday, June 18, 2015) in support of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change entitled “Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home.” This nationwide call to prayer is being coordinated by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national social justice education and advocacy organization that partners with institutions sponsored by the Jesuits and other Catholic and faith-based partners.
Listing of Prayer Events at Jesuit Institutions across U.S. (updated at: 12 PM on 6/17/15):
|Boston College||Boston, MA||Campus prayer service at 12 PM at Stokes Amphitheater|
|Brophy College Preparatory||Phoenix, AZ||Hosting camp for K-5 students on care for environment this week|
|Canisius College||Buffalo, NY||Campus Mass|
|Fordham University||New York, NY||Campus Mass (intentions for encyclical being prayed all week)|
|Georgetown University||Washington, DC||Campus Mass|
|Holy Trinity Catholic Church||Washington, DC||Parish Mass|
|John Carroll University||University Heights, OH||Campus prayer service at 12 PM at St. Ignatius Plaza|
|Loyola University Chicago||Chicago, IL||Campus Mass|
|St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Church||Woodstock, MA||Parish Mass (intentions for encyclical being prayed all week)|
|Saint Ignatius Parish||San Francisco, CA||Parish Mass|
|Saint Joseph’s University||Philadelphia, PA||Campus Mass celebrated outdoors by president Fr. Kevin Gillespie S.J. at 11 AM|
|Santa Clara University||Santa Clara, CA||Campus Mass|
|University of Scranton||Scranton, PA||Campus Mass and distribution of encyclical information to campus|
|Wheeling Jesuit University||Wheeling, WV||Campus Prayer Service & opportunity for service in campus garden|
“The passion for supporting Pope Francis in prayer tomorrow is an indication of enthusiasm of Catholics have for Pope Francis’s commitment to addressing this key moral issue,” said Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network. “The encyclical will give Jesuit institutions and the broader Church courage to continue working for the care of creation and protection the economically poor marginalized by climate change.”
Across the country Jesuit colleges and universities, high schools, and parishes have taken leadership to respond to the realities of climate change on a number of fronts. Earlier this year, Marquette University recently became the seventh Jesuit university to sign the Catholic Climate Covenant’s St. Francis Pledge. Georgetown University’s Board of Directors recently approved a resolution committing the university to divest the school’s endowment from investments in the coal extraction industry. This past spring, Loyola University Chicago hosted a regional conference on climate change and Jesuit education’s role in responding and will unveil a major curriculum initiative on ecology and sustainability at an international Catholic education conference later this month. Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, was recently awarded the 2015 Oregon Sustainable School Award and the first-ever Oregon “More Sustainable” Award, which recognizes the school’s continuous improvement efforts in sustainability over the last four years. Many Jesuit institutions are becoming known for a significant presence of LEED certified buildings across campus. The University of Scranton’s Loyola Science Center received LEED Gold Standard status last fall. Academically, institutions like Wheeling Jesuit University’s Appalachian Institute in the heart of the regions mining industry are leaders in analysis and research on key environmental issues.
The Ignatian Solidarity Network is a national signatory of the Catholic Climate Covenant, joining the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in pledging to reflection, concrete action, and advocacy to protect people and places impacted by climate change. ISN is also a member of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, an international coalition of Catholics from across the world inviting all Catholics globally to explore the issues of climate change, and to pray, act, and advocate. ISN advocates have taken the issue to climate change, including over 1,000 young advocates (mainly high school and college students) who converged on Capitol Hill last November to advocate for a moral response to climate change. Advocates collectively met with over 120 congressional offices asking for legislators to support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and collaborate with international leaders to develop and implement a future global climate agreement that promotes sustainable international environmental standards.