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50th Anniversary of Earth Day

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April 16, 2020

This coming Wednesday, April 22, will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in the United States. On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans — approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population at the time — took to the street in hundreds of cities around the country to protest environmental degradation and call for a new way forward for our planet.

The result: Earth Day awareness and activism have led to the Clean Air, Clear Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 

As Catholics, we are deeply committed to our environment and our home. The California Conference of Catholic Bishops released Care for the Common Home last year, calling for a spiritual conversion that respects our common home and cares for all.

In Laudato Sí, His Holiness Pope Francis’ encyclical on the subject, called for a unified global 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 affects us all.”

It is hopeful that with a renewed sense of global support to fight the current pandemic, that same renewed cooperation can extend into the care of our planet.