Celebrating all of creation shouldn’t be confined to a week or a day. But the observance of Earth Day does give us an opportunity to join a global conversation and encourage participation in caring for our common home.
Like the Sisters of the Holy Cross, people everywhere are striving to act in ways that are environmentally responsible. All of us can do more to invest in our planet by purchasing Earth-friendly products, eliminating single-use plastics and reducing our consumption. When we start to use our purchasing power with care for our planet, our focus begins shifting from wants to necessities.
Developed nations are responsible for most of the planet’s pollution, mining and deforestation. Yet the detrimental results of this incredible consumerism and eco-destruction disproportionately impact the environment and climate in less developed countries. When we consider this, we can start to realize that simple shifts in our habits not only benefit our planet but also marginalized people, who are the most affected.
One way the Congregation seeks to be a part of the solution is by using donor funds to support ministry projects that directly combat pollution, lack of clean water and unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels. Pope Francis said it well in his 2015 letter to the world on care for our common home.
"Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society."
—Laudato Si′ 94
It may be thought of merely as a bumper sticker slogan, but the phrase “Think Globally—Act Locally” is a great model to follow. So this Earth Day, we encourage you to consider how better decisions not only affect our planet, but the glorious people living in every corner of it.