With nearly 30,000 followers, Catholic Climate Covenant has a deep pool of people who share our concern about the state of our common home. As part of the synodal process, we host monthly, virtual “living room conversations” with some of these constituents. We limit these to 30 people for one hour and have had six of these encounters so far.
Our staff is struck by the fact that in nearly every instance, the participants want to stay in touch and create a small community to go deeper into their struggles, feel supported and share ideas about how to better engage their fellow Catholics in this life-saving work.
And it’s our young people, too. From April 29 through May 1, the Covenant’s Young Adult Mobilization program conducted its first-ever young adult retreat. Twenty-eight young Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago learned about Catholic teaching on creation care, explored environmental justice, and experienced eco-spirituality in a beautiful retreat setting.
At the end of their time together, they too wanted to stay connected. It was clear that their primary agenda moving forward was first about building a community of like-minded young adults and then, together, find a way to infuse creation care into Chicagoland Catholics and Catholic institutions.
In a society that constantly pulls our attention in so many different directions, we sometimes find ourselves isolated in a wilderness of competing ideas and issues. When we stumble upon others lost in the same wilderness, we hold on to each other to and find a way out of the jumble and into sanity and purpose.
Confronting the climate challenge will demand purposeful partnerships and compassionate communities. It can be lonely work if we try to go solo.
Wherever you find a Catholic home — your parish, your school, your workplace, even within your family — we urge you to build a community where directions can be discovered, and purpose fulfilled.
Dan Misleh is the founder of Catholic Climate Covenant, based in Washington, D.C. Learn more at CatholicClimateCovenant.org.
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