Update from the Office of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation, April 19, 2023

Earth Day 2023


Saturday is Earth Day!

I invite you to include a part of the prayer from Catholic Climate Covenant:

Creator God,
As we feast our eyes on autumn reds and yellows, we sense your creative power.
As we marvel at the uniqueness of each snowflake, we rejoice that you know us by name.
As we hear the songs of birds of spring, we yearn to sing your praises.
As we breathe the delicious scents of summer flowers, our souls rest in your love.

Advocacy and Action

Catholic Climate Covenant’s Earth Day 2023 call is for simple living. They have produced this video and the Simple Living Checklist I included with this email. You can also submit a Simple Living Commitment Statement.

As you know, the Ohio Province is an affiliate with Beyond Plastics. As such, we are in communication with other affiliate groups around the country. A student in Ithaca, New York has asked us to support her petition with her college asking them not to install artificial turf on the college fields. Artificial turf sheds small plastic particles into the air and water. You can read the details and sign the petition.

The Native Ordeserts Alliance is asking us to support their call to the Biden Administration and the Secretary of Agriculture to not sell mining rights on Oak Flats, an area of high desert in Arizona, sacred to several tribes. You can read more and send a message.


Church World Service created an institutional sign-on letter to ask for TPS (Temporary Protect Status) for immigrants from Nicaragua. As we well know, thanks to updates from Sister Rebecca Trujillo, SNDdeN, Nicaragua is in chaos right now. I wanted to report that SNDdeN US-JPIC has signed-on to this call.


On 30 March 2023 the Dicasteries for Culture and Education and for Promoting Integral Human Development presented a joint statement on the “Doctrine of Discovery”. As they underlined: "The “doctrine of discovery” is not part of the teaching of the Catholic Church”. In fact, they said that the papal documents in question, written in a specific historical period and linked to political questions, have never been considered expressions of the Catholic faith. It is only just to recognize these errors, acknowledge the terrible effects of the assimilation policies and the pain experienced by indigenous peoples, and ask for pardon.

As you know, the Doctrine of Discovery was used as an excuse to colonize and enslave millions across the globe. The request for pardon is a big step forward in addressing this reality. Read the whole statement.