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A new way to raise consciousness and funds to combat climate change

Catholic Climate Action Projects (CathCAP) is a practical way for people of faith to pool funds and support climate justice activities.

White Violet Center for Eco-Justice staff member Ann Testa waters the high tunnel gardens at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

CathCAP is a project of the Catholic Climate Covenant and is co-sponsored by the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. It owes its inspiration to Pope Francis and his inspiring writings in “Laudato Si’.”

Here’s how it works. First, participants try to reduce their carbon footprints by limiting the amount of energy they use, eating less meat, trying to avoid single-use plastics and more.

But it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all carbon use. So, CathCAP focuses on the carbon that is used for travel, for which a carbon offset “tax” is charged. Yearly, 95% of the monies a community pays in carbon “tax” is then made available for them to use toward projects that help them bring about social or ecological improvements either in their own community or elsewhere.

Signed on

Recently the Providence Community has signed on to continue our efforts to counter the impacts of climate change by joining with Catholic Climate Action Projects.

The goal of the project is twofold. First, by participating in CathCAP, the Providence Community will have a practical way of reminding itself about how its choices about transportation affect the climate. Second, by taxing itself for its use of carbon for transportation, the Providence Community will build up a fund which can be used for climate justice projects it desires to implement. Those projects will be determined by the Sisters of Providence Leadership Team and will be submitted to CathCAP for their approval. Once approved, the Congregation will receive funds (95 percent of the funds we have collected) to help finance various approved projects. For example, members at the motherhouse community might choose to use its offsets to install solar panels or other more efficient sources of energy.

White Violet Center for Eco-Justice interns harvest pumpkins.

We hope this stewardship will bring many benefits to the community and the planet. At the very least, it will make us each more aware of how individual choices affect the vitality of the planet and help us to acquire some funds to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Are you interested in helping us address climate issues by “taxing” your own travel? Visit cathcap.org/contribute/ and search for Sisters of Providence.

Originally published in the winter 2023 issue of HOPE

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Sister Cathy Campbell

Sister Cathy Campbell

Sister Cathy Campbell, SP, is a freelance writer and editor. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality from Catholic Theological Union/Chicago. Sister Cathy also ministers as a retreat facilitator for the Providence Spirituality and Conference Center with special interests in scripture and the mystics.

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