Our First Year in Review

December 29, 2015

It’s been quite a journey

this year for the Global Catholic Climate Movement and it all began with an email.

About one year ago, in November of 2014, Tomás Insua global coordinator for GCCM and Harvard Kennedy School graduate student reached out to several individuals in the United States and Argentina to present an idea for a project. A global Catholic organization dedicated to working toward climate justice. Citing the number of Catholic organizations there are worldwide and how powerful a voice they have when working together, Tomás had a vision of an organization that could impact the world’s needy who are most vulnerable to the changing climate. Together with representatives of Catholic organizations from Australia, the Philippines, United States, Hong Kong, South America and Europe, the steering committee for GCCM began to formulate Tomas’ vision into a founding statement.


We launched our organization by releasing our statement ahead of the Pope’s visit to the Philippines. (See blog post by co-founder Bill Patenaude)


FEBRUARY: Lenten Fast for Climate Justice

One of our first campaigns was coordinating a relay-style Fast during Lent. Each day, a different country would coordinate a fast within their territory, ‘handing off’ the fast to the next country at the day’s’ end.


MARCH: Launch of Catholic Climate Petition

In March, the steering committee also agreed on language for a climate petition for Catholics to sign and circulate as a definitive action to show their support for climate justice.

APRIL: Care4Creation Month

GCCM’s Care for Creation Month in April was coordinated with Pope Francis’ April 2015 Universal Prayer Intention “That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God.”


MAY: Pope Francis Endorses Catholic Climate Petition

Representatives from GCCM were given the gift of meeting with our Holy Father face-to-face in Rome who endorsed the Catholic Climate Petition.


JUNE: Laudato Si is published; GCCM joins March in Rome to Thank Pope Francis

In the summer months, GCCM was privileged to be able to go back to Rome to thank Pope Francis for his encyclical as part of the “One Planet, One Human Family” March and young adult convergence. 


JULY: Launch of Massive Signature Campaign in Philippines

Responding to the call of mobilization in the encyclical, Laudato Si’, Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, was a boon to our efforts as he launched a country-wide campaign in the Philippines to collect 10 million signatures on the petition.

SEPTEMBER: Celebration of Season of Creation

The Season of Creation was a campaign modeled after a tradition in the Filipino Catholic Church, where from September 1 to October 4 (St. Francis feast day) the church prays with special intention for all of creation.


SEPTEMBER: Launch of #Pray4cop21

In early September we launched #Pray4cop21 to pray 24/7 for a strong climate agreement in Paris:

SEPTEMBER: Papal visit to US

During the Pope’s visit, organizations collaborated together on many different vigils and actions in all the cities he stopped. GCCM was proud to work with Franciscan Action Network and others in Washington DC for a 10-day Fast for the Climate and with OurVoices in New York for a Light the Way vigil.


NOVEMBER: Launch of Month of Climate Action

In November, we coordinated a Month of Climate Action. These actions included a pilgrimage of prayer, reflection, and specific local climate actions leading up to the Paris Climate Summit.

NOVEMBER: Global Climate March

At the end of November, the entire world was watching Paris and took to the streets on November 29 to show our world leaders we wanted commitments for strong action on the climate agreement. See more amazing pictures here.


DECEMBER: Petition Delivery Events to UNFCCC and President Hollande

Our year culminated in a strong GCCM presence in Paris at the COP21. At two special ceremonies book-ending the Cop meetings, GCCM was present in handing over a staggering 1.8 million signatures worldwide from faith communities demanding action for our climate. Of those, the Catholic Climate Petition garnered support from over 840,000 faithful.


The year has been an amazing display of faith.

Through dedicated staff and volunteers, we have been able to accomplish an incredible amount for an organization so young. And this is just the beginning.

In 2016, the GCCM will continue to bring about the message of Laudato Si’. We will work together toward the future we want for our children and grandchildren. We will continue to pray, the foundation of our faith. We will continue to address our world leaders and keep the conversation going toward a cleaner, healthier climate future for all our brothers and sisters.

Become a part of the movement. Click here to donate and become a partner in our quest to bring Laudato Si to action.