‘Laudato Si’’ Circles have been meeting in Portland for several years: Catholics gathering prayerfully to find ways together to forestall climate change and restore our common home. Circles meet to share silence, Lectio Divina and to discern appropriate action. As Psalm 37 says, “Trust in the Lord and do good that you may dwell in the land and live secure.”

‘Laudato Si’’ participants here have been praying together specifically for pending litigation and legislation. For some months email messages have been sent through senators’ home pages seeking support for the climate provisions of H.R. 5376 as essential. On June 8, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote every member of Congress urging enactment of the same provisions, as follows:

“In his encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si', Pope Francis spoke of “an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.”

On April 22, 2021, the USCCB) had outlined a moral framework in furtherance of crafting just infrastructure policies, and we reiterated our policy priorities on Sept. 7, 2021. This is a critical moment to pass climate legislation if the United States is to meet Paris Agreement emissions reduction goals, and I once again ask you to work toward policies that will help promote care for creation and those on the margins of society, respecting the rights and dignity of every human life.

Portland ‘Laudato Si’’ groups, Catholic Climate Covenant, Interfaith Power and Light, the USCCB and many more, have been asking Senators to pass:

• $320 billion in clean energy tax credits over 10 years to help businesses and homeowners shift to renewable energy sources for electricity, vehicles and manufacturing.

• $105 billion to improve communities’ ability to withstand extreme weather events, which have been worsened by climate change and create a Civilian Climate Corps that creates jobs to conserve public lands and bolster community resilience to flooding, drought and other weather emergencies.

• $110 billion to develop new domestic supply chains and develop new solar and battery technologies and support for existing steel, cement and aluminum industries as they work to reduce harmful emissions.

Before the August recess (Aug. 8 – Sept. 5) is the critical time to write to senators. After that, little will be passed through Congress as members campaign in the midterms. These weeks are a critical time for our common home.

‘Laudato Si’’ gatherings are part of the ‘Laudato Si’’ movement. If you would like to receive invitations to gatherings and updates, or if you have questions about climate change and our Catholic faith, please email Bill Hunter at Madeleine Parish, wjhunterjr@gmail.com or Meg Lehman at Holy Redeemer, meganmlehman@gmail.com.

Learn more