April 22

Earth Day


 We are the first people who have viewed our planet from space and been awed by its integrity and beauty. We have realized how fragile it is in the vastness of the universe. Yet, even as we are awed by the wonder of our planet, we realize that our own insensitivity to its nature is causing irreparable damage to its ability to sustain the lives of the other creatures with whom we share this planet and ultimately of our own. Earth Day reminds us of our responsibility and challenge in the crisis we are facing. It calls us back from accepting gross economic gain and self-indulgence in the misuse of Earth’s resources to respect and protection of the riches of Earth’s gifts on which we all depend and in which we all share.

“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si 


 We thank you. O God, for our life-giving Earth.  May we be zealous for the Earth not just today, but every day of our lives.


 Go to http://www.earthday.org/take-action/ and choose one of the Billion Acts of Green. If you can, plant a tree and register it with Trees for the Earth. If you haven’t done so, read Laudato Si.

Suggested Reading

 Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a  wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.
Laudato Si, 92

 Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs forsubsistence,  but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations.
Laudato Si, 67

 Clearly, the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures.
Laudato Si,68

 Rather than a problem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.
Laudato Si, 12.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.

He that plants trees loves others beside himself.
Thomas Fuller

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Native American Proverb

If we are ever to halt climate change and conserve land, water and other resources, not to mention reduce animal suffering, we must celebrate Earth Day every day — at every meal.
Ingrid Newkirk

I had assumed that the Earth, the spirit of the Earth, noticed exceptions — those who wantonly damage it and those who do not. But the Earth is wise. It has given itself into the keeping of all, and all are therefore accountable.
Alice Walker

To treat all parts of Earth as sacred and Earth’s beings as our neighbors to be respected and loved…
Land Ethic Statement, Sisters of Saint Joseph, Brentwood, NY


The theme for Earth Day 2016 is Trees for the Earth! Our planet is currently losing over 15 billion trees each year due to deforestation, land development, and bad forest management (that is roughly 48 football fields every minute).By Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020 Trees for the Earth  plans to plant 7.8 billion trees one tree for every person on the planet. The focus will be on those regions of the world most affected by deforestation.