Inequalities have become more recognizable in the midst of our recent challenges: Covid-19, an economic crisis, the murder of George Floyd, and renewed racial unrest in our communities. With so many injustices present in our world today, it can be hard to remember that nothing exists in a vacuum or silo. A key theme in Laudato Si’ is the idea that everything is connected, a fact clearly evident in today’s challenges. Our fate and the fate of the earth herself are inextricably linked together; we rely on the earth for our life support.
The injustices in our world are also connected. Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities who suffer from a lack of police accountability often live in neighborhoods with higher crime and poverty rates, with underfunded schools and community services. Landfills and other facilities are often placed in these communities, leading to poor environmental conditions and negative health consequences for residents. Healthcare in low-income communities is often unaffordable and inaccessible, leaving those who are already more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.
As Catholics, we have not always been attentive to how everything is connected in our responses to injustice. As we seek to restore our communities in light of the current crisis, now is the time to begin a new discussion and we hope you will take this journey with us.
This new series will share stories about how communities respond to injustice, in all its hopes and sorrows. We want to integrate stories with reflection on Catholic Social Teaching to begin a journey of common conversion. As cultivators, we are interested in exploring the intersection of environmental injustice, health, forced displacement, and racism. The contributors to this blog series include individuals who represent the diversity and intergenerational nature of our faith community: children, students, young adults, adults, mothers, fathers, grandparents, families, and people working in all sectors of society. Each of us brings different life experiences, expertise, and perspectives, but we share one common hope: to help us all grow more deeply in our commitment to care for our common home and each other.
The first post in this new series will be posted in two weeks. Until then, here are some ways to learn more and take action:
This post is from members of the Working Group for the Everything is Connected Series. Some of its members include:Adam Fitzpatrick is the Coordinator of the Working Group for the Everything is Connected Series. He is the Social Mission Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Mission in Saint Paul. Michael Terrien, Obl. OSB, is an associate member of CADEIO and chairs its Care for Creation Committee. He serves as a trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and is a founding member of its Climate Action Task Force. Pete Dunbeck is the Chair of the Environmental Stewardship Ministry for the Diocese of Worcester Massachusetts. Sr. Sheila Fitzpatrick, OSB is a Sister of St. Benedict at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, IN. She serves on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Creation Care Commission. Elena Gaona is Communications Director at Catholic Climate Covenant. Nancy Lorence is an educator who has taught classes or coordinated training programs in various settings in the U.S. and Guatemala. Leonard Robinson serves as the Sustainability Strategist for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Susan Varlamoff has authored three books, most recently the Action Plan for implementing Pope Francis’ Laudato Si for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.