Letters to the Editor

Parish Plans for Environment

Dear Editor: As the anniversary of “Laudato Si’” draws near on June 18, many parishes in the diocese are beginning to plan activities for their churches. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a Discussion Guide for “Laudato Si’.” The USCCB provides us all with a comprehensive look into the inspiration from Pope Francis.

This guide is packed with different resources and ideas to consider both in our own personal lives, our parish, and in our communities.

Let us consider the tremendous effect one parish could have by pledging to make certain behavioral changes in our daily lives. Could we stop using plastic bottles, and instead carry a recyclable bottle with us?

First of all, we could save a lot of money, and save valuable resources used by the manufacturer and distributor. Some companies fill their bottles with tap water. NYC has one of the highest quality municipal water sources in the country. We don’t really need plastic bottles.

What if we all decide that the soon to be imposed fee for plastic bags in stores is too high a price to pay for convenience? There are many high quality recyclable bags you can buy that last for years. Parishes are considering producing their own recyclable shopping bags to sell at the beginning of the school year. What better way to evangelize than by having a bag with the parish name and Mass times on it? We are showing our community that we care enough about the Earth to make changes that will make a big difference.

We can give recyclable bags and bottles as Christmas, birthday and teacher gifts. Let’s think about giving gifts that will promote a healthier environment.

How much are we capable of doing, to praise God by showing our gratefulness for his magnificent creation?

I hope all parishes will celebrate creation in a special way with hymns and prayers from “Laudato Si’” on June 18.

I hope parishes will begin to share their projects and creative ideas in praising God through action. Maybe we could share them right here in The Tablet.