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Catholic schools embrace role as stewards of the earth by going solar


“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us.”

When Pope Francis released his encyclical Laudato Si, “On Care for Our Common Home,” back in 2015, it was an important reminder of our duty to respect and nurture the planet God has created and entrusted to us. It’s a responsibility that’s all too often overlooked, but one that the Archdiocese of New York is taking seriously.

According to, several Catholic schools in New York State are in the process of implementing solar power for their buildings. Among them are Blessed Sacrament in West Brighton, St. Clare’s in Great Kills, and St. Patrick’s in Richmond, with more 1,300 panels being installed for just those three. “On average, each solar system will fulfill about 50 percent of each parish’s annual energy needs,” explains. In the long run, the solar panels will decrease energy costs for the schools by roughly a quarter over the next two decades.
“In addition to supporting sustainable energy while … preserving the environment for future generations, we will leverage the program as an educational aid by teaching our students about the latest clean energy technologies,” stated Blessed Sacrament’s pastor, Monsignor Peter Finn.
St. Francis of Assisi, a great saint with a deep respect for nature, wrote in The Canticle of the Creatures: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us.” He understood our deep connection to the planet and how God speaks through His creation, so it’s inspiring that these Catholic institutions are taking this call seriously.
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