News
This Earth Day, Jesuit Institutions Are #LivingLaudatoSi

April 22, 2016 — Today is Earth Day, and Jesuit high schools, universities, parishes and ministries are living the call to action put forth by Laudato Si’, the papal encyclical about caring for the Earth that Pope Francis released last year.

The encyclical was groundbreaking as it was the first time top-level papal teaching was exclusively devoted to ecology. The document asserts that fighting climate change is a moral imperative, since it most heavily impacts the world’s poor.

“Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us,” Pope Francis wrote in the opening words of his letter, addressed to "every person living on this planet." Since the pope is St. Francis’ namesake, these words carry extra significance.

One year later, the call to action has been enthusiastically welcomed across the Jesuit network. (We’ll also be sharing more stories like these on our Facebook and Twitter pages with the hashtag #LivingLaudatoSi until the anniversary of the encyclical on May 24.)

Santa Clara University in California and Loyola University Chicago held conferences on climate change. Santa Clara officially dedicated 2015-2016 to reflecting on Laudato Si’, forming interdisciplinary faculty reading groups for the encyclical and presenting students with the opportunity to sign the SCU Graduation Pledge, in which they promise to consider the social and economic impacts of their jobs post-graduation and to help improve their companies’ green policies.

The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania is hosting an entire week of Earth Day events, including an Environmental Bike Tour, a Spring Sustainability Symposium and an Earth Day Fair.


Students attend Loyola University Chicago’s climate change conference. (Photo by Mark Beane)

Loyola University Chicago operates the Institute of Environmental Sustainability and Seattle University supports its Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, which both opened in 2013. Seattle University’s Sustainable Student Action club hosted open mic performances, an art show and a solutions fair for Earth Day 2016.

Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, has offered a degree program in environmental science for more than 20 years, one of the first Catholic universities to do so. The school recently added a degree program in sustainability and also prioritizes campus sustainability efforts.

Seattle Preparatory School holds an annual Earth Day of Service, where over 700 students, staff and faculty head to local parks to work with environmental groups to help remove invasive species, restore habitat and beautify local natural treasures.


Canadian Jesuit Father John McCarthy, who recently had a newly discovered species of lichen named after him, doing field research in a forest in Newfoundland.

Many Jesuits remain dedicated to environmental work and ecology: in particular, Father Al Fritsch, SJ, founder of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Appalachia Science in the Public Interest and the EarthHealing website; and Father John McCarthy, SJ, who recently had a new species of lichen named after him.

This month, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States has also welcomed Cecilia Calvo as a Senior Advisor on Environmental Justice, a new position.

Have any of these Jesuit-affiliated endeavors inspired you to take your own action in caring for our environment? Share it with us on social media with the hashtag #LivingLaudatoSi before the one-year anniversary of the encyclical on May 24. Check out these climate action suggestion lists from Catholic Relief Services and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for ideas.

Moreover, keep up with EcoJesuit, the online web portal about Jesuits and their work in ecology, created by the Jesuit European Social Centre and the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific; read more articles about Laudato Si’ at Jesuit-run America magazine; and read the entire text of Laudato Si’. [Source: Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities]






Recent News

July 22, 2020 — Pope Francis declared Fr. Eusebio Kino, SJ, venerable on July 10.

July 14, 2020 — After four ordinations went off without a hitch last week, Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, provincial of the Jesuits West Province, had reason to be hopeful.

June 30, 2020 — Fr. Frank Buckley, SJ, clinical director of the Center at Blessed Sacrament, the Jesuit parish in Hollywood, shares how the parish has responded to the pandemic.

June 25, 2020 — Fr. Chris Corbally, SJ, an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory in Arizona, now has an asteroid named for him.

June 24, 2020 — Dr. Fauci explains how his Jesuit education helped prepare him for his work in public health.

June 23, 2020 — Jack Krouse, SJ, of Jesuits West, was ordained to the diaconate at Saint Ignatius Church in Paris on June 20.

June 19, 2020 — It is with great joy that the Jesuits West Province announces ordination dates have been set next month for six Jesuits of the province.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2020

Jesuits West Magazine - Fall 2019

Jesuits West Magazine - Spring 2019


Companions
Fall, 2019

Companions
Summer, 2019

Companions
Fall, 2018


Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra
The Jesuit Retreat Center of the Sierra is an adult, youth, and family retreat center in Applegate, Placer County, California, for nonprofit groups of 20-130 (105 guests overnight; +25 additional beds in summer only).