In the conclusion to his encyclical Laudato Si’—On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis urges us to:
Protect the world and not prey on it, . . . sow beauty, not pollution and destruction, . . . to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature. Pope Francis
Advocating for Our Common Home
As we learn more about environmental crisis—much of it the direct result of human action like clearcutting forests and rainforests, polluting our soil, air, and water, strip mining, etc.—we as Franciscans focus on advocacy for our common home.
As individuals and as a congregation, we recycle; we study issues and advocate for solutions by calling, writing, and e-mailing our elected officials to bring about change. We attend town hall meetings to voice our opinions. We sponsor and attend prayer vigils to generate awareness and change. And we pray for our world and all who inhabit it.
As a congregation, the FSM use our influence and our resources locally, nationally, and internationally to bring healing to our planet and all its inhabitants.
Extending Our Presence Worldwide
Globally as well as locally, we are using our assets to support entrepreneurs, companies, and other organizations who are working to mitigate climate change and otherwise further our FSM values of compassionate care of creation. Some of the ways we are advocating for our Earth include:
Through our impact investing and directed philanthropy, we have found innovative ways to use our assets to support and generate positive change both locally and globally.
Collaborating at Home
In the St. Louis region, for instance, we have brought the Double Up Food Bucks, a program of Fair Food Network, to those in the area who receive SNAP benefits, enhancing their access to fresh, locally grown produce and benefiting local farmers and grocers as well.
We also collaborate with local agencies that share our values of compassionate care of Creation. For instance:
- Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, a local organization that provides trees to reforest the urban canopy and replace trees in areas devastated by disasters;
- St. Louis Earth Day, an organization that sponsors the April Earth Day festival (one of the largest nationwide), the Green Dining Alliance, Recycling on the Go, and Earth Action Grants, all of which are local initiatives encouraging people to live sustainably;
- Gateway Greening, a St. Louis-based organization devoted to strengthening and empowering communities and using vacant land wisely through organic, sustainable community gardens; and
- Missouri Coalition for the Environment, which collaborates with FSM in promoting legislation to remove the radioactive waste illegally dumped in the West Lake Landfill and supporting other initiatives to encourage clean air, water, soil, and energy in Missouri.
In addition, we are integrally involved in remediation efforts for the West Lake Landfill.
Making a Difference
We encourage you to join us in compassionate care of creation, in living out Pope Francis’s vision for care for our common home. Check out the websites of our local collaborators (above) or the websites of our partners in investment and philanthropy to find a way that inspires you!