Care of Creation
Even if ‘nature is at our disposition,' all too often we do not respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations. Here too what is crucial is responsibility on the part of all in pursuing, in a spirit of fraternity, policies respectful of this earth, which is our common home. I recall a popular saying: ‘God always forgives, we sometimes forgive, but when nature—creation—is mistreated, she never forgives!'
Jan. 14, 2014
Continuing in the footsteps of his predecessors—Popes John Paul II and Benedict—Pope Francis is calling Catholics to be good stewards of the gift of creation. All Catholics are called to live their faith in relationship with God's creation. St. Augustine wrote that while the divine Scripture must be read, "the universe must also be observed in order to know God."
For the past 75 years, Glenmary priests and brothers have explored and expressed the social demands of the Catholic faith—including care of creation—through their home mission ministry efforts.
Glenmary serves rural areas that sit in the lap of nature. From it's beginning the home mission society has nurtured a deep interest in the care of creation. Father William Howard Bishop, Glenmary's founder, encouraged rural living and agrarian reform as president of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. He chose St. Francis of Assisi, a missionary and lover of creation, as a Glenmary patron. As Father John Rausch wrote in 2004, "Even before developing today's conscious awareness of ecological issues, Glenmary intuitively saw the interconnection between God's creation and people with their land."
Today, that interconnection is still being explored and promoted by Glenmary priests, brothers and lay coworkers working to encourage respect for the environment and sustainable practices in mission areas they serve as well as bring awareness to environment injustices taking place both in mission areas and beyond.
Those are the tasks of the members of Glenmary's Environmental Committee who strive to "call Glenmary to a conscious relationship of interdependence with the rest of creation so as to minimize its impact on the earth's resources."
We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of God's creation. Care for the earth is a duty of our faith and a sign of our concern for all people. We should strive to live simply to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
We have a moral obligation to protect the planet on which we live—to respect God's creation and to ensure a safe and hospitable environment for human beings, especially children at their most vulnerable stages of development.
As stewards called by God to share the responsibility for the future of the earth, we should work for a world in which people respect and protect all of creation and seek to live simply in harmony with it for the sake of future generations.
—Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
This Land Is Home to Me & At Home In the Web of Life (Catholic Bishops of Appalachia and Catholic Committee of Appalachia)