To address the growing concerns of climate emergency, the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls established the One Planet Fund. It will support projects that promote respect for the earth and bring awareness to the urgent need to protect the environment.
“As Franciscan sisters, we’ve always been great lovers of nature and the world around us,” said Franciscan Sister Carolyn Law, assistant minister of the leadership team and member of the One Planet committee. “St. Francis taught we are all brothers and sisters, and Pope Francis, through [his encyclical] ‘Laudato Si’,’ has emphasized care for all creation. We have an increasing concern about the climate emergency. We are running out of time.”
The Catholic Climate Covenant began a similar grant with the Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, commonly known as the Victory Noll Sisters, in Huntington, Indiana. The Franciscan sisters decided to start something in central Minnesota to empower others to help the earth, Sister Carolyn said.
“It is our hope that more people — especially our own Catholic Church — will become increasingly aware of, and motivated to address, the climate emergency and put into action the call to heal our planet,” she said.
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded three times a year. Applications are due Nov. 1, Feb. 1 and March 1. All faith-based groups, especially youth groups, are encouraged to develop creative projects that will further climate change mitigation and sustainable living. Other service organizations and community groups may also apply.
Initial ideas for activities that may be funded by the grant include (but are not limited to):
- Projects and programs that carry out the “Laudato Si’” Action Platform: https://laudatosiactionplatform.org
- Carbon reduction activities (tree plantings, pollinator gardens, LED lighting, cleanups, plant-based diet, reduction of plastics, recycling, composting, etc.).
- Events that educate or promote awareness, especially those that lead to action (educational events, rallies, fairs, festivals, prayer services, liturgies).
- Advocacy and dialogue with Church and political leaders on the care for creation.
- Retreats, workshops or forums to promote understanding, bridge-building and healing related to care of creation.
- Art forms including music, visual arts and film.
- Classroom instruction/curriculum related to care of creation.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Rydeen at email@example.com or 320-632-0624.
Story updated Sept. 24, 2021.