San Diego diocese launches Climate Change Initiative

Form "Creation Care Teams" at parishes across the diocese

Marchers at the People’s Climate March San Diego at Waterfront Park. (Photo by Ken Stone)

The San Diego diocesan Office for Social Ministry has started an initiative to form Creation Care Teams at parishes across the diocese to organize actions to protect the environment. These can range from small lifestyle changes individuals can make to ones involving the parish or community beyond.

Father Emmet Farrell, a retired priest, is coordinating the initiative, which is part of a new diocesan ministry focused on the environment. He stressed that this work is rooted in the Gospel.

The premise of the Creation Care Teams begins with Father Farrell making a presentation in English or Spanish at parishes interested in starting a team. Parishioners receive information about climate change and explore its consequences.

For instance, they learn that the poorest people suffer the most severe effects of climate change because they depend on nature for their food and water.

Then they are asked to share their knowledge with their community and decide what makes sense for them to do. Perhaps they want to focus on parish energy use or create ecologically friendly landscaping, said Kent Peters, director of the Office for Social Ministry.

Through May, the parishes that have organized Creation Care Teams are Blessed Sacrament, Sacred Heart (San Diego), St. Timothy, St. Mary (Escondido), St. Didacus and St. James/St. Leo.

These parishes get access to a wide range of resources from the Catholic Climate Covenant, an organization formed by the U.S. bishops to respond to the threat to the environment. And they receive a monthly newsletter full of ideas of what they can do.

Peters said parishes, too, can invite young Catholics to join this ministry and use their technology and social media skills to disseminate ways to protect the environment.

Maricruz Flores of Our Lady of Guadalupe Youth Ministry is already on board. She and fellow member Luz Espinosa turned out to San Diego’s waterfront on April 29 for the People’s Climate March to call attention to local, state and federal initiatives to protect the environment.

Flores said that as a youth minister it was her responsibility to let parish families know the environmental damage occurring every day.

Full story at The Southern Cross.

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  1. How do you convert anyone to the one true faith when your spiritual leaders are chasing nonsense most people know to be a scam?

    • Exactly! The only climate change that we should be addressing as Catholics happened due to the misapplication of Vatican II and it’s effects are still wreaking havoc to this day. Certainly a man made catastrophy, with diabloical input as wel of course.

  2. Gratias says:

    I am so grateful to President Donald Trump for getting us clean out of the Paris Global Warming Agreement. I prayed that he would do so, as I did for his election. It worked.

  3. William Robert says:

    Bishop McElroy- thank you for your courageous leadership in the face of the destructive climate policies of the current presidential administration. May God continue to bless you and the Diocese of San Diego!

    • Greg the Geologist says:

      Well, our diocese and bishop certainly need the prayers. However, this effort is symptomatic of what I see as a liberal inability to prioritize. No program can be cut, everything is a crisis. “[T]he poorest people suffer the most severe effects of climate change”. Really? Based on what? A much stronger case can be made that the poorest people suffer most from lack of access to affordable energy, which is at the moment (and will be for a long time) fossil fuels. The more expensive we make it, in a quixotic effort to control the climate, the more the poor will be hurt, because cheap energy is essential to economic development. Many examples of that, too much to go into in a short comment. This geologist won’t participate in the…

    • Danijela says:

      Propagating politically correct nonsense is not courageous leadership. Going against the current culture of death is courageous leadership. Thank God, we have laity today who do not blindly follow false prophets, but follow the Gospel and the Tradition and the teachings of the Magisterium. Certain Bishops have much to learn from their flock.

  4. How fuelish? What has happened to the Catholic Church? The climate in the Church should be focusing on the salvation of souls. Heaven is for eternity. Life here on earth is comparably a lifetime over and out in a flash! They care more about this unproven nonsense, than mission work and turning hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. What has happened to the Catholic Church?

  5. One would wonder if the fine Father Farrell ever marched outside of a Abortion Mill.

  6. Joel Fago says:

    How about launching a Spiritual Change Initiative?

    • we wouldn’t want to offend other religious beliefs, but they’re quite willing to take on the climate wars

      • expect the creation care teams to attend workshops on how to develop parish level monthly ‘eco liturgies’ that will promote the eco agenda. much has already been developed in protestant denominations and is readily available for importation and adaptation, including ‘green’ hymnals and choir resources, spending much focus on genesis passages , noah’s ark. will we go from church as peter’s barque to eco-rescue in the lgbt+ rainbow ark? sin means failing to pass a home energy use audit.

  7. Steve Seitz says:

    I’ve sensed that if a priest does his job well, the people in his care will become more spiritual and will become more engaged in politics. But if a priest intertwines politics with his job, he will spiritually impoverish the people in his care.

    This also applies to a bishop.

  8. Since McElroy has been the Bishop of San Diego we have seen his call for disruption and civil disobedience; We have also heard his call for a change in language in the CCC regarding homosexual acts; Now we have a climate czar and youth leaders ready to round up the troops in order to save the environment. Funny, but it seems to me that ‘saving souls from hell (talk about heat) and getting them into heaven’ is much more important than ‘saving the environment.’ Yet I have not heard one word from McElroy about deepening spirituality, reminding people that fornication and adultery are serious sins, as are acting out homosexual desires. How about Bishop McElroy really getting behind COURAGE and ENCOURAGE. No, he is too busy…

  9. Is the San Diego diocese really still part of the Catholic Church? Apparently they are no longer interested in saving souls?

  10. Clinton R. says:

    Is George Soros running the San Diego archdiocese? It is hard
    to tell the difference between his agenda and Bishop McElroy’s.

  11. Maria de Francisco says:

    Great comment Joe. Wonder if Bishop McElroy has ever walked/given witness outside of an
    Abortion Mill. May God have mercy on Bishop McElroy. His mitre is on too tight and has affected his thinking.

  12. Anonymous says:

    San Diego bishop, San Diego diocese leadership:

    All politics, all the time.

  13. The Watchman says:

    This is an initiative that those promoting the new world order would support. What about an initiative to protect the unborn and the traditional family of husband and wife. We are in a spiritual battle the likes of which has never happened since the beginning of civilization. What about an initiative to protect the children from these diabolical radical sexual education that is trying to indoctrinate them. The church should be focusing on real issues not this phony issues like climate change. Pray America Pray.

  14. helen wheels says:

    You think it’s warm now ……. ?

  15. Peggy Bartley says:

    And this is one of the many reasons why I do not contribute one penny to the Annual Appeal. There are so many good Catholic groups to give your money to: solid religious orders who teach Catholicism, pregnancy resource centers, Catholic Radio — to name a few.

  16. In Haiti they combine Voodoo and Catholicism. So why not San Diego?

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