The Office for Human Dignity of the Diocese of Joliet is excited to announce our new approach to environmental awareness and practice through our Partnership in Mission ministry. Partnership in Mission seeks to form servants for the work of missions and justice as we reach out in service, relief, and friendship to our brothers and sisters around the globe. We presently send medical, construction, outreach, and university teams to Bolivia, the Philippines, Uganda, and the Navajo Nation.
Acknowledging the immediate need to act on the climate crisis and recognizing our own environmental impact as we travel to our mission destinations we have decided to implement three new practices for our mission trips:
- For every missionary that attends one of our missions the Office for Human Dignity will purchase and plant a tree.
- Our missions will now include education and formation around local environmental issues in the areas we are visiting. We will also implement environmental projects and practices during the mission.
- We will highly encourage each missionary to implement a daily eco-practice in preparation for their mission trip. That could be eating a reduced meat or vegan diet, fasting from plastic and/or shopping, intentionally using less electricity, taking 5 minutes or less showers, etc.
While nobody is unaffected by the consequences of the climate crisis, we know that the poor and vulnerable are the most affected. We are implementing these new practices to be in solidarity more fully with the people we serve during our missions, to help mitigate the effects of climate change they might already be experiencing, and to protect the environment for its own sake and the sake of every living thing inhabiting the earth.
In Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, he makes the appeal for everyone to work together for our common home with particular appreciation to “those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest” (LS13). Together, through our missions, let us do this work.