A Guest Post by Benjamin Schlanger
As a climate change activist, it was reassuring to me to see a room filled to the brim with others who share my concerns at A Faith That Does Justice’s Community Meeting last month. As a Catholic, I was inspired that those same people are looking for ways to put their faith into action to reduce the devastating impacts of climate change on the poor and vulnerable.
My parish chaplain and I had spoken about beginning a Laudato Si ministry at the Harvard Catholic Center, focused on living out Pope Francis’s call to action and conversion. The Community Meeting seemed like a perfect catalyst to bring together young adult parishioners who are concerned about climate change and vulnerable people. Inspired by the discussion and looking for concrete ways to make a difference, after the Community Meeting ended, we gathered together and started developing the guiding vision of our ministry.
In the spirit of Laudato Si, we plan to meet twice per month to do service work for the poor and vulnerable, learn to live more ecologically conscious lifestyles, and engage in activism for the environment and Catholic Social Justice. Last week, we had a follow-up meeting at St. Paul’s Parish where we laid out 20+ concrete actions that we can take over the next four months, including:
- Learning how to cook more vegetarian meals and eat more sustainably
- Making pilgrimages to nearby holy sites rather than holy sites that require air travel
- Volunteering at existing Catholic food pantries
- Participating in the Earth Day Strike on April 24
- Calling our state representatives to support green legislation in Massachusetts
Thank you to A Faith That Does Justice for providing the catalyst for us to come together to put our faith into action in service of others.
Benjamin Schlanger is a member of Sunrise Boston, a movement of young people fighting to stop the climate crisis