Catholic groups in San Francisco archdiocese reaffirm climate action

The University of San Francisco, Daughters of Charity, Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of Mercy, St. Raphael Parish in San Rafael, St. Teresa of Avila Parish and Mercy High School have signed the Catholic Climate Declaration

Dominican Sister Carla Kovack outside the Jane D’Aza Convent, the community’s house of formation in San Rafael. The convent, completed in 2005, is the only convent in the U.S. to have earned top level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Photo by Christina Gray/Catholic San Francisco)

Eight local Catholic organizations have reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement global climate change accord by signing the Catholic Climate Declaration.
The Catholic Climate Covenant is a nonprofit formed by the U.S. bishops and other Catholic organizations in 2006 to help guide church response to the moral consequences of climate change. The declaration affirms the commitment of Catholic parishes, dioceses, schools, colleges and universities, health care organizations and religious communities to the goals of the Paris Agreement despite U.S. withdrawal in 2017.
The University of San Francisco, Daughters of Charity, Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of Mercy, St. Raphael Parish in San Rafael, St. Teresa of Avila Parish in San Francisco and Mercy High School in San Francisco are among the more than 600 Catholic organizations nationwide that had signed the declaration as of July 28.
The commitments are in the spirit of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato si’” (“On Care for our Common Home.” The pope lamented “pollution, waste and the throwaway culture” and called for a new dialogue on what he called the rapid acceleration of changes affecting humanity, especially the poor, and the planet.

Father Fitzgerald

Instead of “lapsing into despair” or apathy because the scientific evidence of climate change is already so overwhelming, the encyclical provides “an Ignatian spirituality to actively engage us and give us a clear path forward,” University of San Francisco president Jesuit Father Paul Fitzgerald told Catholic San Francisco.
He said the Jesuit university has redoubled its efforts to give all students a “sense of responsibility around climate change and the impacts that overwhelmingly affect the poor.”
New undergraduate programs have taken root, including environmental science, environmental studies and urban agriculture – the latter to educate students about corporate food systems, more equitable models of agriculture, and environmental and food justice.
Almost 20 years ago, the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael signed the Earth Charter, an international declaration of values and principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society.
When it came to supporting the Catholic Climate Covenant, the sisters “were all in one accord,” said Sister Carla Kovack, OP.
“As Dominicans we have always appreciated all of creation and find truth and beauty to be reflective of the divine,” Sister Carla said.
The sisters’ efforts, including hosting an environmental film series, writing letters to lawmakers and investing community funds in “green” projects, will be presented at the Global Climate Action Summit Sept. 12-14 in San Francisco as examples of tangible actions by covenant signatories.

At the Sisters of Mercy, the Earth is one of the community’s five “critical concerns,” along with nonviolence, immigration, racism and women. 

Faith-rooted workshops on climate change

San Francisco will host the first international climate conference organized by a U.S. state, Sept. 12-14 at Moscone Center. The Global Climate Action Summit was organized by California Gov. Jerry Brown to support the 2015 Paris Agreement from which President Trump withdrew in 2017. Visit Catholics are invited to Grace Cathedral to attend a series of free faith-rooted affiliated workshops led by experts the week of the summit. Visit to register.

Speaker on parish embrace of ‘Laudato si”

The power of parishes to spread the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical will be the topic of a talk by Jesuit Father John Coleman, associate pastor of St. Ignatius Parish, at St. Anselm Parish, Ross, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. The free talk coincides with the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco Sept. 12-14.

Full story at Catholic San Francisco.


  1. I’ve got a couple of other encyclicals I’d like them to publicly sign on to as well, seeing as how encyclicals are as important as they are to these groups.

  2. Albert Mariani says:

    Before expending efforts on climsye change, why don’t they demand accountability for the whole and revitalised abuse mess ant tolerance of same-sex practices among the clergy.

  3. Danielle says:

    If these people would only take their own words seriously and stand up against the violence against the women committed in abortion, they may be taken seriously.

  4. St. Christopher says:

    Snazzy habit, Sister Kovack! Time to ignore the absolute inanity of climate control as science, but more importantly, as anything of theological importance. The Church is literally imploding, and these fools are worrying about issues like: immigration, nonviolence, women (?what does this mean, except for female ordination?), and racism. What about the Four Last Things? Isn’t the Church supposed to be focusing on such things, rather than environmental issues or “global warming”? Laughing and crying out loud in equal measure.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These people know they don’t stand for anything meaningful. Not meaningfully Catholic. But they have to stand for something, otherwise why do they exist as communities? So they decide to “fight” against the fake climate change boogeyman. That way they can pretend to stand for something without having to do anything that costs them. What does it cost? What’s the sacrifice? What’s the risk involved in fighting against the weather? Nothing. It’s so safe for them, virtue signaling, posturing, fake activism. Then they enjoy their fancy dinners.

    • St. Christopher says:

      Yes, “Anonymous,” why do they exist as communities at all? Compare this group to the celestial Fairfield (PA) Carmelites, who are busy building a Traditional monastery settlement where Christ will be worshiped continuously. Of course, the Carmelite Sisters do not hold forth on income inequality, global warming, returning to the gold standard, or when to wear leisure suits, but they do the one thing we all need: pray for reparations, for mercy, for thanksgiving to our Creator. Isn’t this something that all religious should be doing?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see any mention of Christ…

  7. I might expect to read an article like this on April 1st. In the meantime, our Church is imploding from the top down.

  8. Warren Memlib says:

    I don’t think the Sister Carla Kovack’s polyester “habit” is biodegradable.

  9. Elizabeth T. says:

    As a native San Franciscan and having been brought up on the peninsula, I can assure you that all these groups are liberal with a CAPITAL ‘L’ !!!!!

    No surprise here……

    And as for the Sisters of ‘Mercy’ I could tell you stories that would make your head spin on how they physically abused children both physically and mentally!!!

    I know as I was one of those children.

    Despite all of my experiences (and I also include Notre Dame Sisters also) I will remain a traditional Catholic and NEVER BLAME the Catholic Church for these angry/sad/frustrated women.

  10. A big Thanks be to God to these organizations and parishes for their support of Laudato Si. For the climate change deniers, please wake up and smell…the smoke! Major portions of California are on fire. On the east coast of the US, major flooding. The climate science is accurate…and prophetic.

    • Actually Harold, the smoke of Satan entered into several arsonists who lit most of these fires. The sins of a few have become the nightmare for many. It’s not climate change, it’s felons! Thank God for firefighters! 🙂

    • bohemond says:

      Utter nonsense Harold why is California burning stupid laws prevent the controlled burning of underbrush, the East coast has always flooded and always how do I know that I have lived here for over 50 years. Long before the climate change communist showed up. You guy won’t be happy until the hammer and sickle is on the stars and stripes

    • St. Christopher says:

      Your point is crazy, “Harold.” California is on fire as a form of warm-up (hahaha) for eternity. Too many people where they should not be and fire is normal, anyway. In any even, the Pope’s personal views on the environment are his own and are not binding on practicing Catholics. Nope — global warming is a fraud. And, if there is any “warming” it is the result of natural events, not man-made. Francis is a complete disaster as Pope and his views on the environment is just another useless noise from the Vatican.

      • Anonymous says:

        What if you’re wrong? What if climate change is real? Don’t the potential consequences ask us to have a little humility about our opinions when it comes to the climate?

        • Look, in California we are diverting water to the delta smelt baitfish and not cleaning the trees in forests, that is the predictor of these summer fires.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How sad that these religious communities have become small committees of old people who sign documents and tout that as witnessing to Christ and serving the Church. Let all these wayward communities die off as nobody in her right mind would want to join one.

  12. I am skeptical that humans have anything to do with Global Warming. It is a hoax of Cultural Marxism that seeks to divide people according to groups. In this case the Gaia religion versus Catholics.

    We Catholics have to believe the Apostle’s creed entirely. This is difficult to belive completely, which is why I pray it daily. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a similar religion, believing in it brings also population control, abortion, euthanasia, American guilt, less progress for poor countries, and voting for Democrats in the whole package. Unfortunately Laudato Sii fell for this Cultural Marxist poison.

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