Year of Creation: Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington

What is the "Year of Creation"?

Similar to the global Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis last year, which entertained a heightened focus on the role of mercy in the Catholic faith, the diocesan wide "Year of Creation" will entertain an intentional, heightened focus on ecological justice. Various events, initiatives and resources will be made available to parishes, schools and all of you to better educate on and encourage the embracing of Pope Francis’ message in his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.”

This encyclical is addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how people are shaping the future of the created world. He calls everyone to acknowledge the urgency of pursuing ecological justice and to join him in embarking on a new path based in integral ecology.

Action for Ecological Justice Conference

Bishop Coyne invites you to Action for Ecological Justice: Celebrating a Year of Creation, which will explore, reflect upon and respond to the message of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. With perspectives from scientists, politicians, activists, economists, professionals, academics and people of faith, the day promises dynamic conversations about the state of creation and how we can work together for a sustainable future.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo
From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Woo served as President & CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, which reaches more than 100 million people in 101 countries on five continents. At CRS, she worked face to face with the consequences of climate change every day. Representing CRS, Dr. Woo was featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Foreign Policy as one of the 500 Most Powerful people on the planet and one of only 33 in the category of “a force for good.” In June 2015, Dr. Woo was one of five presenters in Rome at the release of Laudato Si’.

Event Location

Breakout Sessions including:
1. A Path to the Good Life: Pope Francis’ famous environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’
2. Can economics save the world?
3. Dialogue: Collaborating to care for our common home
4. Engaging the Parish: How do I invite others to join me?
5. From Climate Science to Climate Justice
6. Pristine or Polluted: Do you know what is threatening our water resources?
7. Spirituality, Justice, and Laudato Si’
8. Water is Life: Giving access to safe water to the poor around the world
9. Your Cousin, Your Neighbor’s Cousin: Consuming ethically in today’s world

View more info on breakout sessions here.

Closing Song & Praise by Bob Hurd of Oregon Catholic Press.
Breakfast pastries, coffee, and Pingala Café lunch will be provided.

Conference Sponsors

Calendar of Events


September 30 - Action for Ecological Justice Conference Saint Michael’s College
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington will observe the ecumenical Season of Creation
(Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, through Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi) with a daylong conference on ecological justice and creation sustainability. Dr. Carolyn Woo, former CEO and President of Catholic Relief Services, will be the keynote speaker.
To register online, visit our online form here. More details coming soon.

December 3-24
Laudato Si-fy your Advent with Global Catholic Climate Movement


March 3 7:00 pm Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 20 Pine Street, Burlington
Bishop Coyne led The Stations of the Cross with John Paul II: On the path of ecological conversion, followed by a sustainable soup supper and discussion of the Lenten practice of fasting. Participants learned about the Global Catholic Climate Movement’s Lenten Fast for Climate Justice and how fasting from certain foods, especially meat, positively effects the planet and the poor. Seasonal soup was donated by New Moon Café in Burlington and sustainably sourced bread was donated by O Bread Bakery in Shelburne.
Read about the event in Vermont Catholic: “Stations ‘On the path of ecological conversion.’”

April 12 daylong, statewide
Catholic school students across the state of Vermont participated in a day of caring for creation. The day included education, action, and prayer. Activities focused directly on the environment and also on those who suffer from environmental degradation. Details, photos, and video of the day in Vermont Catholic.

April 23 - Earth Day and Mercy Sunday 5:00-7:00 pm Holy Family Parish Center, Essex Junction
In honor of Global Catholic Climate Movement’s Mercy2Earth Weekend (Earth Day, April 22, and Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23), Holy Family Church hosted roundtable discussions on parish initiatives for creation sustainability. Topics included renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, clean water, living simply, impacts on communities, and eco-spirituality. Evening prayer, focused on Pope Francis’ message of mercy for the earth, accompanied the discussion. Read more about the event in Vermont Catholic.

May 19 7:00 pm St. John Vianney Church, South Burlington
Join in giving praise to God for the gift of creation with Sing Praise to God All the Earth, a concert with well known composers from OCP, the publisher of the Breaking Bread, Today's Missal, Glory and Praise, and Spirit & Song hymnals and missalettes. The music featured is inspired by reflections on Pope Francis' encyclical, "Laudato Si". View and Print Poster
R.S.V.P Here

June 18
Second Anniversary of Laudato Si’

Meet the "Year of Creation" Committee

A Year of Creation Committee comprised of scientists, activists and people of faith has been formed to assist with this initiative.
     Click on the Committee Members photo below to learn more about them.



Stephanie Clary
Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington
Office of Communications
55 Joy Drive; South Burlington, VT 05403