Parish Care for Creation FAQ
August 9th, 2016
By Christina Gray
What is a ‘Care for Creation’ team?
Think of it as a ministry composed of parish members (parishioners, staff and clergy) who help their parish respond to the invitation extended by Pope Francis in his May 24, 2015, encyclical, “Laudato Si’”: On Care For Our Common Home.”
What do these teams do?
They implement conservation and educational activities based on the needs, interests and capabilities of the parish. Some teams will work to reduce parish consumption of electricity, water, fuel, paper and other resources. Others may focus on recycling, purchasing safer or more efficient products, and hosting “zero waste” hospitality events. Ideally, many will do all these things while they work toward what Pope Francis called the “ecological conversion” of parishioners through Catholic speakers, faith formation and the liturgy.
Why are parishes being asked to form one?
In his encyclical, Pope Francis called upon the church and “every person living on this planet” to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and its threat to the earth’s poorest and most vulnerable. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone responded by urging archdiocesan parishes to form care for creation (C4C) teams.
How do parishes benefit?
Parish C4C teams can be instrumental in substantially reducing certain parish operating costs. But the larger spiritual pursuit of any parish team is to help the faithful understand how being good stewards of our collective home aligns with our Catholic values. “Laudato Si’” is also energizing and engaging parishioners in a new way and presenting the church with a new opportunity for leadership.
Who is qualified to join a C4C team?
If you’ve read “Laudato Si’” and were motivated by its message, you’re qualified. While no special skills are required, those with facilities management, accounting or purchasing experience may be able to provide areas of specific leadership.
How do you form a C4C team at your parish?
Parishioners are asked to be the driving force behind the formation of their own parish teams. Approach your pastor and get his support and a place for the team to meet. Then get the word out through the bulletin, an email announcement or after Mass. A downloadable survey that can help your team gauge the interest and ability of parish members is available at sfarchdiocese.org/green.
Where do we start?
Register your team with the Catholic Climate Covenant at catholicclimateconvenant.org. Registered groups receive access to a library of helpful resources and tools, ideas for hands-on activities for you to try at your parish and access to an exclusive Facebook group where teams from around the world share success and challenges.
The archdiocese has created a “Laudato Si’” website with event information, resources and tools at sfarchdiocese.org/green.
From August 11, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.