Tomorrow, worldwide news will be made by a major statement expected from Pope Francis, about the environment and climate change (some of it’s already been leaked). Then tomorrow night, Seattle-area Catholics will follow it up with an event here in West Seattle. The announcement:
Pope Francis’ much anticipated encyclical on the environment will be celebrated at a 7 p.m. service Thursday, June 18, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 7100 35th Ave. SW.
All are invited to the 7 p.m. service to gather with local Catholic, ecumenical, and environmental leaders to honor Pope Francis’ call to protect the Earth. Speakers include:
· Fr. Jack Walmesley, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Parish
· Dr. Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, director of the Institute of Catholic Thought and Culture at Seattle University
· Dan and Robyn Campbell, parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe
· Jessie Dye, program & outreach director of Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light
There will also be the opportunity for a tour of the parish grounds, which feature solar panels, a children’s solar kiosk, a rain garden, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat peace garden, green buildings, and other energy-saving measures that have made the parish a leader in environmental sustainability.
Background: On the morning of June 18 in Rome, the Vatican will release the first comprehensive Catholic moral statement on caring for creation in the face of climate change. The pope’s encyclical, titled “Praised Be” (or Laudato Sii in Latin), is expected to make three key points: 1) Catholic teaching calls for protecting God’s creation; 2) humans cause climate change, which is a serious moral issue; and 3) the time to act is now – specific personal and public policy measures are needed to address global warming.
The encyclical will explicitly name climate change as one of the greatest threats to life on Earth, which poses particular challenges here in the Pacific Northwest where glaciers are melting, drought and forest fires are intensifying, and fossil fuel projects threaten Native American and other communities.
“’Praised Be,’ a call from Pope Francis to inspire us to care for creation, will resonate with Catholics throughout the region,” predicts Father Jack Walmesley, Our Lady of Guadalupe pastor.
All are invited to the event at OLG – more info here.