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Care for creation is an ancient Catholic concern that has taken on renewed urgency in recent decades. Catholics are examining their faith-related responsibility to protect the environment. Earth Day and the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi share the goal of protecting the environment and all of God’s creation.

Seasonal Features
Earth Day
See all of our Earth Day e-cards at CatholicGreetings.org

Explore the Ecology and Faith News area

Catholics are examining their faith-related responsibility to protect the environment and the connection between ecology and other issues, including food security, climate change, peace and justice, and consumption and production.

Why Catholics Care for Creation
In this issue of Catholic Update, Joan Brown, O.S.F., looks at how the Church has understood creation through the centuries. While exploring such issues as global warming, she also explains how the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy can serve as a guide for the care of creation.

Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth
A book from St. Anthony Messenger Press!

Was Jesus a Tree Hugger?
This issue of Every Day Catholic focuses on how we can cultivate and care for the earth. Easy words in theory and wholly holy, but being good stewards of creation isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Francis, Faith and Ecology
The October 2007 issue of St. Anthony Messenger explored the many connections between Franciscan spirituality and our stewardship of the earth, including:

St. Francis of Assisi: Why He's the Patron of Ecology
The saint who composed the ‘Canticle of the Creatures,’ preached to the birds and prayed in the woods can teach us about caring for creation.

Species Preservation Matters
As the Poor Man of Assisi appreciated the biodiversity that God built into creation, humankind today needs to reclaim St. Francis' kinship ethic.

The ‘Our Father’: Our Environmental Teacher
This prayer can be a guide to saving the God-given planet.

The Tragedy of Mountaintop Removal
An Appalachian Catholic committee works with interfaith leaders to expose the full cost of coal-generated electricity.

Going Green: For the Sake of God's Creation
Dioceses, parishes and individuals are finding new ways of fulfilling the moral responsibilities toward creation.

Learn More About the Patron of Ecology
St. Francis of Assisi, lover of all creation, champion of justice, patron saint of animals and the environment, founded the Franciscan order.
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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog We need do no more than we are doing at present; that is, to love divine Providence and abandon ourselves in his arms and heart.<br />—St. Padre Pio

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