BY MONICA HATCHER
During this year’s Season of Creation, the Congregation co-sponsored an ecological conference on Oct. 1 in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Sr. Ricca Dimalibot, CCVI, and Social Concerns Director, Monica Hatcher, were part of the planning team that began organizing the half-day event in March, which focused on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.
With the Director for the Archdiocese’s Secretariat of Social Concerns, Sr. Maureen O’Connell, they helped determine the theme, format and speakers for the morning conference which drew more than 100 attendees, including 19 CCVIs. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo participated with prayer and introductory comments on the landmark environmental encyclical.
Sr. Ceil Roeger, OP, Promoter of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Houston Dominicans, Ms. Reyna Anderson, the associate director in the Donald S. Nesti Center for Faith & Culture at the University of St. Thomas, and Mr. Roger Ingersoll, a Houston-based Catholic climate educator were also part of the team.The CHRISTUS Foundation for Healthcare also co-sponsored the event.
The conference represented the first time the Archdiocese had formally hosted a major ecological event on Caring for God’s Creation. The involvement of CCVI Sisters and staff also helped deliver on the Congregation’s first year commitments to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, specifically the goals of Ecological Education and Community & Participatory Action.
Sr. Ricca was a featured speaker delivering a talk on the health impacts of air pollution. She was joined by four other featured speakers and a panel of local activists that addressed the issues of climate change and environmental degradation from theological, spiritual and scientific perspectives.
The event was featured on the front page of the Texas Catholic Herald.