Consistent with Catholic Social Teaching and Pope Francis’s call in Laudato Si’: Care for Our Common Home, the St. Monica Green Team is dedicated to protecting our common home.
We are committed to creating a culture of stewardship and conservation by improving energy and resource efficiency in our parish and city communities. We aim to transform our social values into actions that take into account the disproportionate impact on the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable. Most importantly, we strive to provide our congregation with the necessary tools and training to live more sustainably and in solidarity with all of God’s Creation.
Christians around the world celecrate the Season of Creation, from Sept. 1-Oct. 4, a time to reflect on God's Earth and our call to be his stewards. The theme for this year, Renewing the Oikos of God, denotes a strong bond that connects all God's children on Earth.
For this month, spend more time in nature and find God's presence in the outdoors. One of the best things to do is to recall the beauty of creation, and thank God for it every day! During the next four weeks, you can include these intentions in your prayers as we celebrate this season:
For God's children on Earth, that we act as the stewards God asked us to be, caring for creation and striving to live more sustainable lives every day.
St. Monica Catholic Community is certified as a Santa Monica Green Business and will renew its certification in the Summer of 2021. St. Monica is also working to reduce its carbon footprint through more sustainable purchasing and waste reduction in areas such as printing, hospitality, and energy. These steps are not only good for the planet, but they will also result in cost savings for our parish.
The Green Team is committed to work with and support St. Monica in these endeavors.
Caring for the Earth has always been at the core of our Catholic tradition. In Genesis, God creates the good Earth for humankind, on the condition that we care for it as His stewards. The rest of the Bible continues this theme, from awe of creation in Psalms to our responsibility to care for it in Paul’s epistles. Preached over 1,000 years later, St. Francis of Assisi’s teachings also emphasized the theme that all of creation must be respected and praised as the handiwork of God.
More recently, in encyclicals by current and past popes, we are called to recognize our mutual responsibility to restore the damages inflicted on earth. Pope Francis shook the world in 2015 with his letter to the Catholic community, titled Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. It was the first time a major faith leader publicly acknowledged our environmental crisis and reminded the faith community of our responsibility to creation. His powerful language includes:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterated this responsibility, saying Care for Creation is “not just an Earth Day slogan, [but] a requirement of our faith.”
Today, millions of the faithful across the globe work to care for our common home. A truly ecumenical community has formed. Click below to learn about four groups highlighting the range of activities and depth of their commitment.
“People and their movements are called to cry out, to mobilize and to demand—peacefully, but firmly—that appropriate and urgently-needed measures be taken. I ask you, in the name of God, to defend Mother Earth.” –Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Environmentally-friendly living often seems like a dauntless—if not, hopeless—challenge. The good news is that incorporating simple changes, one step at a time, can make a significant difference in our local and global communities. We will be adding new green tips to this section. Send us your favorite green changes, and you may see them on our webpage!
Our life choices contribute to the total amount of global greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide and methane. Find out your carbon footprint from the trackers below: the EPA tracker recommended by the California Catholic Conference or the Global Footprint Network tracker recommended by Global Catholic Climate Movement.
The foundation of Catholic teachings on Creation is rooted in prayer and reflection on the gift of our common home. Below are some passages, prayers, and reflections to inspire our awareness, gratitude, and willingness about Creation.
Sign up here to receive Reflections on the Care of Creation by email. The Director of Creation for the ministry of the Diocese of San Diego, Fr. Emmet Farrell developed this series of daily reflections for the 40-day liturgical season to help Catholics better understand what he sees as one of the most pressing moral issues facing the world.
Over the past decade, the city of Santa Monica has led the way in sustainable tourism, boasting eco-friendly attractions such as Heal the Bay Aquarium, Tongva Park, and our local Farmers' Market.
One of our most heralded spots is the Santa Monica Mountains, which pioneer sustainable mountain tourism—a scarcity in today's nature-visiting scene. As COVID restrictions lift and outdoor plans increase, consider visiting this mountain range to picnic, hike, view wildflowers, and birdwatch, among many other activities. The National Park Service writes more about what you can do in the SaMo mountains - Click here!
Celebrate National Honeybee Day on it's twelfth anniversary. While the holiday has gained more popularity since its first recognition in 2009, the general consensus around the honeybee is still lukewarm despite the species’ dire endangerment in America. While it may be so easy to overlook these small insects, honeybees are one of the most important insects to our society. So take some time to give back to the bees this year and make a buzz about National Honeybee Day!
For the Full Article, And He Saw that it Was Good, written by Elizabeth Johnstone, CLICK HERE!
Even if you don’t have time for a cleanup, you can still take much-needed action.
Learn how to care for our coastline in 3 easy ways in an article by Elizabeth Johnstone - Click Here!
The weather is changing, and summer is on the horizon. What comes to mind? Tidying up? Cleaning out your closets and drawers? Shopping? The Green Team offers you three perspectives to consider first - Click Here!
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than to honor our mothers and love our Mother Earth! Read some tips to keep your Mother’s Day environmentally friendly by Meredith McCarthy - Click Here!
From a spark that created a movement, Earth Day continues to inspire! The St. Monica Green Team celebrated Earth Day on Apr. 17 by inviting parishioners to clean their local neighborhood or beach. It has never been more important to care for our common home.
Read a history of Earth Day written by Meredith McCarthy - Click Here!
On Saturday, Apr. 17, the Green Team hosted a successful decentralized cleanup. Members of the St. Monica community went out and cleaned our beaches, neighborhoods, and parks. Thank you to everyone who participated in our cleanup and beautified the city!
On Thursday, May 20, the Green Team hosted Catholic Conversations with Fr. Emmet Farrell and Patricia Grace from the Archdiocese of San Diego. They gave a beautiful presentation on the spirituality of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’: on Care for Our Common Home.
For the last 4 years Fr. Emmet has been the director of Creation Care ministry for the Diocese of San Diego, leading a team of fellow volunteers to promote and educate about Pope Francis's 2016 encyclical. Patricia Grace is a lawyer, master’s level social worker, and secular Franciscan with a long personal and professional history of advocacy for the poor and marginalized, yet she holds that her credentials for presenting this workshop are the proverbial calluses on her knees.
Recording of Catholic Conversations: The Spirituality of Laudato Si’ - Click Here to Watch!
Read more about Catholic Conversations: The Spirituality of Laudato Si' - Click Here!
Join the St. Monica Green Team!
Learn about our call to protect the environment and how to put our faith into action right here at St. Monica. We are always looking for new members, and we can't wait to see you soon!