Examples of Regional Grant Awards
Columbia River ProjectDioceses
of the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Nelsen,
The bishops of the Arch(dioceses) of the northwest and Nelsen, Canada issued on January 8, 2001 a pastoral statement, The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good. The bishops established a consultation process over a three year period listening to community leaders and representatives of interested organizations in many communities along the river. This unique international endeavor among bishops and Catholics in the region has helped raise an ethical concern for the future use of the river.
San Isidro Environmental Project, Phase IIDioceses
of New Mexico
The San Isidro Project Phase follows the 1998 release of the NM bishops environment pastoral, Partnership for the Future, and the very successful 1998 state wide ecumenical conference on the environment and Catholic social teaching. In 1999, the San Isidro Project conducted a series of four mini leadership retreats in various locations throughout the state. The purpose of the retreats was to bring the NM bishops’ message closer to the parishes and to organize a broader network of Catholics and ecumenical partners to address New Mexico environmental concerns. The Project also hosted a state wide conference in Las Cruces on the Feast Day of St. Frances (October 4. 1999) on the theme of economic growth, the environment and the poor.
Canticle of CreationA Catholic Response
to Creation Diocese of Lansing, MI
The Diocese of Lansing project organized six to ten parishes in the city of Lansing to participate in a year-long environmental justice leadership program for parish youth and adults. Day-long sessions conducted during each season of the year helped Catholics understand the Church’s approach to the environment based on Scripture, theology and the Church’s social teaching. The emphasis was on the connection of spirituality to our moral commitment to care for God’s creation. The training sessions used Catholic sacramental theology to explore themes of the beauty and grace of Creation (Baptism); the wounds of Creation (Reconciliation); the transforming power of Creation (Confirmation); and a new vision of Creation (Communion). The intent after this initial organizing was to expand the program to other regions in the diocese.
Connecticut Catholic Environmental Leadership
Retreat Archdiocese of Hartford
The Archdiocese of Hartford sponsored an environmental leadership retreat for participants from the four dioceses in the Connecticut Catholic Conference to reflect on Jubilee themes and learn about environmental and urban sprawl concerns within the context of Catholic faith and social teaching. This weekend retreat was designed to balance spiritual reflections and education/presentations. This weekend retreat served as a focal point for further planning for a more intensive follow-up effort.
Maryland Eastern Shore Education ProjectMaryland
Catholic Conference, Archdiocese of Washington, Diocese of Wilmington,
and Archdiocese of Baltimore
The Maryland Catholic Conference, the Archdiocese of Washington’s Office of Social Development, the Diocese of Wilmington’s Office of Parish Social Ministry, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Office of Communications co-sponsored an educational and organizing project. The initial training session examined a range of issues from poultry farming and associated labor and environmental problems to pollution of the Chesapeake Bay and urban sprawl. The training included simulation exercises designed to engage participants in formulating public policy options. The goals of the Maryland Eastern Shore Education Project include increasing the awareness of the Catholic community about the environment; encouraging dialogue among effected parties; and initiating community activities to support legislation to improve environmental protection in Maryland. Additional activities included hosting smaller leadership retreats of 20-30 church leaders and a series of statewide conferences.
River of Life InitiativeArchdiocese of
The River of Life Initiative is a joint venture of the Christian Service Department of the Archdiocese of Detroit and 70 parishes. The project goal is to organize these parishes in an effort to clean-up and protect the Clinton River Watershed as part of a larger effort to deal with the economic, social and environmental problems spawned by urban sprawl. The Clinton River Watershed is the second largest river basin in southeast Michigan. Communities and neighborhoods in the watershed continue to absorb population shifts and growths in a sprawl pattern leading to the pollution of the watershed. The Environmental Justice Program Grant enabled the Archdiocese and the parishes to begin to build parish leadership to address this concern based upon the Church’s social teaching about the environment coupled with a public policy advocacy campaign.
A Gospel of Life for Florida’s Young
People: Spiritual, Familial and Environmental RegenerationFlorida
Catholic Conference and the Florida Council of Catholic Scholarship
The Florida Catholic Conference and the Florida Council of Catholic Scholarship (Barry University, Blessed Edmund Rice School for Pastoral Study, St. John Vianney College Seminary, St. Leo College, St. Thomas University and St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary) joined together as sponsors for this project. The project initiated a scholarly and educational process offering support for what Pope John Paul II has called “the Gospel of Life” across a range of human experiences that touch upon the spiritual, familial and environmental lives of the young people of Florida. Through a series of seminars, inter-faculty dialogues, a state wide conference and a follow up public education campaign, the consortium began to address the problems Florida youth face from the erosion both of community and family life and the special environmental problems of Florida. The project focuses on creating the intellectual support needed to address these problems from a Catholic perspective tying this intellectual effort into the public policy work on the environment of the Florida Catholic Conference.
The Southern Plains Conference: the Promised
Land Networkthe Dioceses of Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas and
the Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas
A significant problem in addressing agriculturally related environmental concerns is the lack of understanding between farmers, ranchers and environmentalists. Often this lack of trust and understanding inhibits effective environmental protection. The Promised Land Network offers an opportunity for the Church to pull together farmers and environmentalists to explore through dialogue common values and goals that can serve as the basis of more effective environmental practices. The series of initiatives the Network conducted as part of this project sought to establish and sustain a dialogue among farmers, ranchers and environmentalists that can serve as a model for dispute resolution.