Action on Our Environment

Our Immediate Reality:

The global issues of climate change for Catholics is about caring for our common home, which for our Council is first hand experience of the municipal environment of Kingston and its surroundings. Our first responses to “what can I do?” personally and “what can we do?” about climate change begins within our immediate environment.

The Vatican:

We were told in 2014 by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that we are responsible for  Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature . This was followed in 2015 by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si (LS) with the prayers in LS 246 and 247 below, as a recommended first approach to caring for our common home through prayer to the Spirit.

A prayer for our earth from Laudato si

Christian prayer in union with creation from Laudato si

 Small Steps:

Our new Canadian Cardinal, Michael Czerny, SJ, “worked alongside Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, advising the pope on the environment…taking a lead in writing Laudato Si, the pope’s major 2015 encyclical calling for an urgent global response to climate change… Despite the document’s hard-hitting political analysis and focus on global inequality, Czerny said he’s a firm believer that small, everyday initiatives will save the planet.” On small steps he continued:

 “We’re not going to solve the environmental and climate crisis on the large scale. We’re going to solve it over and over again where ordinary people live and work,” he said. “So, I’m not at all discouraged when I hear about small steps. That’s what gives me hope. I recognize that large-scale efforts seem to be frustrated, but I don’t think that’s the main story.”

Pope Francis on praise and respect while sharing the goods of creation

In August 2019, Pope Francis, in reference to the Amazon’s importance to climate change had offered three ideas on which to reflect:

  1. “praise before the beauty of creation” that is “… the fruit of contemplation”, that together “lead to respect” leading “to venerating the goods of creation and its Creator.”
  2. “everything has been given to us free of charge”, and in turn “must become a gift to be shared.”
  3. being able to “give up something for a greater good, for the good of others”

Pope Francis recommends that we “give up something for a greater good, for the good of others” which should include that percentage of our municipal taxes budgeted by the city for the sustaining of our common environment as out lined below.

Our Immediate Kingston Environment:

We live in Kingston, now one of 40 Canadian cities that have climate change emergency measures. Here the sustainable community goals fit in closely with the recommendations of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si @  Kingston Environment & Sustainability .   The developers and delivers of the city’s sustainability goals are citizens like us. We live alongside them, perhaps in our own neighbourhood.

To which we Knights of 11670 freely offer for the care of our common home   

What the city measures may not include are prayers of praise for the very gifts of creation being sustained, by their municipal workers for our and their own daily sustainability, e.g. clean water, healthy sustaining parklands, clean air etc.

Our human sustainability is dependent on that sustainable nature, itself dependent on our efforts to also sustain it. Prayers are in order as we develop respect for “the goods of creation and its Creator”

Our Council’s Prayerful  Small Steps Approach to Climate Change:

Our Council’s Action Plan for Climate Change recognizes that we, here in Kingston, are blessed in the sustaining of our environment by others like us, for the benefit of all its citizens and our common home environment. Our plan acknowledges those benefits, while focusing each month on just one of the free gifts such as one of the 200 parks, the abundance of urban and forest tree covers, potable water sources etc. as found @ Kingston Environment & Sustainability.

This will be presented to the membership at the monthly General Meeting, then circulated by email and posted on this website. Our essential added contributions to what efforts are already evident in sustaining our environment include PRAYERS, the very heart of our Faith in our Creator.

The Action Plan:

It will focus on one aspect of our environment and the people who help to sustain it under the following four headings:

  1. Identify the month’s daily focus on one of the sustained environmental gifts of our common home in Kingston, e.g. trees, water, fresh air etc.
  2. Link to references on its importance to be sustained on our behalf, as we in turn sustain it e.g. health benefits of trees, clean water etc.
  3. Pray with suggested words of praise to the Creator for those benefits and for those mandated to sustain them, with a companion request for guidance on how to better meet our environmental responsibilities shared in common with all of creation, locally and thus globally. The Our Father’s “Give us this day our daily bread” may indeed be the most complete prayer since clean air, potable water, a healthy bio environment is an essential “daily bread” for all of creation.
  4. Act with a recommended activity for the month for individuals and/or as a fraternity of families for the care of our common home in Kingston, including our prayers.

The Monthly Focus on Climate Change is available on the subset page for easy access to our month by month growth in respect for our Kingston environment.