Indian Catholic News

Bandra's St. Peter’s featured in Eco-Parish Guide

The “Eco-Parish Guide” was created by the Global Catholic Climate Movement.


The St. Peter’s Church in Bandra, Mumbai, is one of the model parishes featured in anew ecology guide that inspires and give spractical ideas to Catholics across the world to combat climate change.

The parishioners installed nearly 200 solar panels on the church terrace to power parish buildings.

The “Eco-Parish Guide: Bringing Laudato Si’ to Life” draws from more than a dozen countries and cultures to offer practical ways to care for creation and respond to the pope’s call to action.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis writes: “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”

The “Eco-Parish Guide” was created by the Global Catholic Climate Movement, a worldwide network of more than 300 Catholic organizations. Composed of laypeople, priests, religious, bishops and others, the Catholic movement is united by “the moral imperative of responding to and raising awareness about climate change,” according to the Eco-Parish Guide.

The guide is a tool for pastors, staff, pastoral councils and parishioners to combat climate change — what Pope Francis refers to as “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

Divided into three main sections, the 45-page guide includes initiatives that can help parishes reduce emissions, suggestions for how they can inspire and engage parishioners about environmental issues, and ways to practice solidarity and advocacy that serve the neediest and build up the common good.

It encourages parishes to form a Care for Creation Team, which spearheads projects with approval from the pastor; provides recommended resources; and contains a climate-action idea checklist. It also has a section on benchmarking — comparing energy performance of a church to buildings of comparable size and location — and certification.

Lead author of the guide was Gail Kendall, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained engineer with decades of experience in climate change work across the globe. Kendall said that with more than 220,000 Catholic parishes around the world, the Church can play an integral role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To be useful to parishes worldwide, the guide reflects the diversity of parishes in the Catholic Church, said Kendall.

The guide points out that many efforts to combat climate change can be implemented easily and for free. And some initiatives can save parishes as much as 20 percent to 30 percent in energy costs, according to the guide. More importantly, the document shows how climate change is directly related to poverty and other social justice issues, said Kendall.

Source: The Catholic Sun

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