CCC Laudato Si’ resources and homily helps

August 24, 2016

Here are some liturgical resources for adaptation and use courtesy of the Catholic Climate Covenant.

Homily Helps

Here you will find resources for homilists, bulletins, and other materials that help to integrate the rich insights of Laudato Si’and Christian care for creation into Sunday Mass. These will include the following:

  • Highlights from the Scripture readings of the day
  • Relevant quotations from Laudato Si’
  • Brief commentary
  • Illustrations and anecdotes
  • Sample applications
  • Petitions to include in the Prayers of the Faithful
  • Bulletin notes
If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected].
Versión de esta página en español aquí.

August in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

Our readings during these weeks of ordinary time help us to appreciate that the paths of discipleship involves living for values that reflect and manifest the reign of God. This means especially reaffirming the dignity of those who have been pushed to the margins of society and protecting the integrity of God’s creation, the common home he created for all.

July in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

During this month of July, our readings lead us further along the road of discipleship.
They help us to understand that Christian disciples place locate the entire value of their lives in the Gospel. All else then falls in place around that priority.

June in Ordinary Time (Cycle C 2016)

As we turn from Eastertide to Ordinary Time, we are steeped once again in the fundamental paradox of being Christian: We are witnesses to the Resurrection, yet we continue to live as disciples caught up in the struggles of the world around us. The scripture readings of this June raise up this paradox as they juxtapose life and death, sin and forgiveness, judgment and love, deprivation and abundance, freedom and commitment. A widow in Zarephath and another in Nain each lose a son. But then their sons are restored to them, and with that their hope. King David and the woman with the Alabaster jar are caught up in guilt, but then in their repentance they encounter God’s abundant mercy. Likewise, even in our own brokenness, we have abundant causes to hope in the power of God’s mercy and love. God is always waiting to forgive us, and the Holy Spirit is there to enliven us once again. Thus when some preach doom and despair in the face of the destruction we have witnessed to our planet, the Christian response must be one of perseverance, hope, and commitment to leaving a living planet to future generations.
The demands of discipleship stand out in the gospel readings for the last two Sundays of June.There Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for the reality that lies ahead, his redemptive suffering, crucifixion and death. And he tells them plainly that following him entails suffering and sacrifice. Ultimately, as Jesus resolves to set out to Jerusalem, they resolve to follow him in solidarity. Like the disciples, we may find that we falter as we attempt to follow Jesus in discipleship. Nonetheless, we must imitate the disciples in accepting the mercy and forgiveness of God. If we persevere in humility, we will find that we, too, put on Christ, and clothed in Christ, we find our true identity in him.

Easter (Cycle C 2016)

During this Easter Season we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death, a victory won for us. Yet though Christ has brought his saving work to fulfillment, he does not absolve his disciples from going forth to fulfill the calling God has given each. Rather they now go forth buoyed by the hope of the Resurrection. To be a Christian is to be a realist, yet buoyed by hope. Our readings during this Easter season invite us to live out of that hope as we respond to our own calling, with all its challenges. Here Pope Francis is the model. In the midst of our environmental woes, he does not lose hope, but instead proclaims, “Laudato Si’ – Praise be!”

Lent (Cycle C 2016)

Lent is a season of conversion and repentance. The Sunday scriptures for Lent in Cycle C contain reference to “the land” God promises Abraham and his descendants, to nature, and to its elements. In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis makes clear that we need a change of heart and mind to create a world where exploitation does not inflict harm on our neighbor or the land we have been given to live together upon.

Ordinary Time before Lent (Cycle C 2016)

Five weeks of “ordinary time” follow the Christmas season. At the outset of this five weeks, we journey with Jesus to the Jordan River. There John the Baptist announces that Jesus is God’s anointed, and Jesus prepares to take up his public ministry. In his words and in his actions he brings to Israel the salvation foretold by the prophets, but in ways that provoke wonder and even controversy. Indeed, the salvation Jesus proclaimed went beyond what the people of his day understood. He called upon Israel to see with the eyes of God and appreciate the breadth and depth of God’s love and mercy. In our own day we continue to be challenged by this summons to broaden the circle of our concern. Reflecting this call of faith, Laudato Si’ invites us to think of all our fellow human begins with whom we share this earth. And it summons us to take up our responsibility for God’s creation as His stewards. With its focus on “the Gospel of Creation,” chapter two of Laudato Si’, in particular, invites us to appreciate how God’s will and purpose are found in all aspects of the human and natural world.

Advent and Christmas Season (Cycle C 2015-2016)

During Advent we heighten our senses as we await with anticipation news of what God is about to do. Christmas is the time of fulfillment that all Creation looks forward to.

Catholic Climate Ambassadors

Nelson Araque [email protected] Diana, Florida
B.A. Philosophy and Literature, M.A. in Pastoral Ministries
Nelson teaches theology at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Nelson sees raising awareness of the economic, political, social, and moral effects of climate change. He is able to share the authentic Catholic teaching on climate change with the Church’s Spanish-speaking community.

Ed Biersmith, MPS, Ph. D [email protected] Monroe, Louisiana
M.A. in Pastoral Studies, Loyola New Orleans; Ph.D. University of Kansas Lawrence
Dr. Biersmith is owner of Sylvan Learning Center in Monroe, LA. Dr. Biersmith taught a JustFaith Climate Change Short Course at Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic Church. He is able to share both the scientific and theological understanding of climate change with the wider Catholic community.

Patty Bowman [email protected] Seattle, Washington
B.A. in History, Stanford University; J.D. Harvard Law School; M.A. in Biblical Studies, Graduate Theological Union; MAPS, Seattle University
Patty is the Director of Social Outreach and Advocacy at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, WA, and served as Adjunct Faculty at Seattle University in the Scripture and Leadership Training (SALT) Program from 2000&nash;2006. She is able to educate Catholics about the church’s teaching on environmental issues, and on climate change in particular, with the aim of empowering and inspiring Catholics to change their own consumption habits and to advocate for better government policies.

Valerie Chapman [email protected] Portland, Oregon
M. Education/Religious Education, University of Portland; M.Div. Equivalent, Marylhurst University; Certificate in Pastoral Leadership, Seattle University; D.M., San Francisco Theological Seminary
Valerie serves as the Pastoral Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Portland, Oregon. Her doctoral dissertation was titled “Take and Eat: Reconnecting to God, Community and Creation through the Food We Eat,” and linked environmental awareness with a Catholic understanding of the Eucharist. She is able to share her deep understanding of Catholic teaching, and to help parishes make Creation a priority in decision-making.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ [email protected] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.S. in Elementary Education, Chestnut Hill College; M.A. in Religious Studies, Saint Thomas Aquinas University; Ed.S., Seton Hall University
Sr. Clark is the Director of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Earth Center, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and serves as Special Assistant to the President for Sustainability of Chestnut Hill College. As a Sister of Saint Joseph and a Catholic educator, Sr. Clark recognizes a need for education about the issue of climate change and the responsibility of Catholics to respond from a faith perspective.

Gerry Gacioch, M.D. [email protected] Fairport, New York
B.S. in Biology; M.D.; Fellowships in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology; Masters in Medical Management
Dr. Gacioch is Chief of Cardiology at the Rochester Heart Institute at Rochester General Hospital. He helped found the “Care of God’s Creation” Ministry at Church of the Transfiguration and is able to help Catholics learn about Catholic Social Teaching and our particular commitments to care for God’s Creation and exercise an option for the poor.

Patricia Gillis [email protected] Southfield, Michigan
B.A. in Sociology, Madonna University; M.A. in Religious Studies, University of Detroit; MSW in Community Organizing and Administration, Wayne State University; Sabbatical year internship at Michaela Farm studying organic agriculture and ecospirituality
Patricia is the executive director of Voices for Earth Justice, and teaches Sociology at Macomb Community College. She is especially passionate about how climate change relates to the Catholic Social Teaching. Patricia is able to share a wealth of ecumenical experience with Catholic audiences.

Katie Hirschboeck, Ph. D. [email protected] Tuscon, Arizona
B.S. in Geography, University of Wisconsin; M.S. in Geography and Ph.D. in Geosciences, University of Arizona
Dr. Hirschboeck is Associate Professor of Climatology, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. Dr. Hirschboeck sees the issue of climate change as one which concerns her vibrant Catholic faith, commitment to Catholic Social Teaching and its Consistent Ethic of Life, and profession as a scientist. She is able to share both a scientific and theological understanding of climate change with the wider Catholic community.

Kyle Kramer [email protected] Lamar, Indiana
B.A. in Religious Studies and B.A. in Germanic Studies, Indiana University and Universitaet Hamburg; M.Div., Emory University
Kyle is the Executive Director of the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center in Louisville, KY (, which offers programming in spirituality, ecology, and social compassion. He is the former director of graduate lay degree programs and spiritual formation for Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.Kyle and his family spent fifteen years as organic farmers and homesteaders in Spencer County, Indiana. Kyle is a current columnist for St. Anthony Messenger magazine, a former columnist for America magazine, and is the author of A Time to Plant: Life Lessons in Work, Prayer, and Dirt(Ave Maria Press, 2010).

Sr. Barbara O’Donnell, HM [email protected] Villa Maria, Pennsylvania
B.A. in Elementary Education, St. John College, Cleveland; M.A. in Religious Education, LaSalle University, Philadelphia; M.A. in Earth Literacy, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Terra Haute
Sister O’Donnell is a staff member with Villa Maria Education and Spirituality Center, where she focuses on EcoSpirituality and EcoJustice. She has also served 11 years as Director of EverGreen, the ecological ministry of Sisters of Humility of Mary. She is able to use Church teaching to help Catholics see the connection between local and global, and to realize that climate change affects all of God’s creation with a major impact on those who are poor.

Mark Potosnak, Ph. D. [email protected] Chicago, Illinois
B.A., Harvard University; M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D., Columbia University
Dr. Potosnak is Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Program at DePaul University. He is able to share both his passionate Catholic faith and scientific understanding of climate change with the wider Church, and to help Catholics recognize the impacts of climate change as well as what they can do to more fully care for God’s Creation.

Betsy Reifsnider [email protected] Stockton, California
B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs, Occidental College

Betsy is the former Environmental Justice Director at Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Stockton. Betsy has spent more than 35 years working in the environmental field.  She began her career as the Conservation Coordinator for the Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter and then worked as a legislative deputy for Los Angeles City Council member Ruth Galanter. She served as the Associate Director of the Mono Lake Committee and as the Executive Director of Friends of the River, California’s statewide river conservation organization.  She has also worked for the federal government as the water conservation manager for the Mid-Pacific Region of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, encompassing Northern California, Nevada, and Southern Oregon. She volunteers as a Catholic Climate Ambassador and as a jail visitation volunteer for Loaves and Fishes, a Sacramento-based organization serving the homeless and destitute.  She is active in her parish, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Sacramento.

Susan Searle [email protected] Gunnison, Colorado
M.A. in Pastoral Ministry, Loyola, New Orleans
Susan is Adjunct Faculty for The Center for Ministry Development. With over twenty years’ experience in youth and young adult ministry, Susan is able to share the important message of climate change with the young people of the church and to those who minister with them.Anthony (Tony) Strawa, Ph. D. [email protected] San Jose, California
B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy; M.A. in Management and Supervision, Central Michigan University; M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Stanford University; Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Stanford University
Dr. Strawa has spent 20 years as an Atmospheric Scientist with NASA, and is currently the Chair of the Diocese of San Jose Climate Change Initiative. Dr. Strawa recognizes climate change as one of the great challenges facing humanity this century from a scientific, economic, and ethical perspective, and is able to motivate people to more fully address climate change through their Catholic faith.Vie Thorgren [email protected] Denver, Colorado
B.S. in Education, Indiana University; M.A. in Counseling Psychology, University of West Florida; D.Min. in Spiritual Theology, Graduate Theological Foundation
Dr. Thorgren is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Spirituality at Work in Denver, CO. Dr. Thorgren has nearly 40 years’ professional experience in researching, designing, and implementing programs that address social issues. Her cross-cultural experience in South Korea and Kenya and her degrees in education, counseling psychology, and spiritual theology have served to enhance her integrated thinking.Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM [email protected] Belmont, North Carolina
B.A., Fontbonne College; M.Ed. in Religious Studies, Boston College
Sr. Tresp is the Director of Justice for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Community. Sr. Tresp understands that issues about the environment and climate change will continue to affect all of the other issues with which the Sisters of Mercy are concerned, especially immigration and racism. She is able to share the Church’s teaching on creation care and climate change with Catholic audiences, and to demonstrate how this issue affects much more than just natural ecology.