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Continued Commitment to Laudato Si’

special mass in the memorial circle of our 4+ acre Living Lab
“Environmental education… needs educators capable of developing an ethics of ecology, and helping people, through effective pedagogy, to grow in solidarity, responsibility, and compassionate care.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 210)
In the Living Lab

As we celebrate this year’s Season of Creation, we are excited to share that O’Dowd was one of just three schools across the United States to be honored at the Catholic Climate Covenant’s first Laudato Si’ Champions Award ceremony earlier this year. Our commitment to respond to “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor” lives in our everyday choices. From choosing compostable cutlery, to the incredible care our Creation Care Team puts into our Living Lab, to classroom lessons that push our students to understand the intersection of faith, social justice, and creation - O’Dowd’s culture continues to respond and reflect on ways we can be better stewards to the Earth and one another.

In the Living Lab

As part of this year’s celebration, our Creation Care Team and Eco Leaders welcomed teachers, administrators, and parents from our Diocesan elementary schools to a workshop on integral ecology. Giving schools practical tools to deepen their commitment to Laudato Si’ across the four C's - campus, curriculum, community, and culture - the workshop included time for each school community to consider the next steps in their action plans. The day ended with Fr. Jim Sullivan leading a special mass in the memorial circle of our 4+ acre Living Lab. “This workshop was an amazing opportunity to collaborate with many thoughtful and creative colleagues,” shares Wilanie Williams, who serves as a second grade teacher at Corpus Christi School. “I was inspired to hear each school share goals and initiatives on their community's Laudato Si’ journey. You could definitely feel the passion of O’Dowd’s Creation Care Team, and I'm grateful to carry this energy back to my school site.”

Green Strides Tour attendees

Additionally, we welcomed the U.S. Department of Education to campus as part of their Green Strides Tour in Northern and Central California. The visit included a tour of O’Dowd’s Living Lab, where representatives from the U.S. Department of Education spoke, and our Creation Care Team, school leadership, and teachers from the Math, English, and Science Departments each gave short presentations. “It was an honor to host federal, state, and local environmental education leaders on our campus,” says Michael Downs, Director of Kinship and Justice. “It was humbling to share how sustainability, environmental justice, and climate resiliency are being integrated across our campus, curriculum, community, and culture.”

Marigold Planing

Throughout the Season of Creation, our Advanced Leadership teams, Eco Leaders and Solidarity in Action, have been guiding the school community in various activities, including a Living Lab Work Day, a neighborhood clean-up, and encouraging students to participate in the annual Coastal Cleanup.

We will celebrate the close of the Season of Creation on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi with an all-school assembly led by our Eco Leaders and Creation Care Team.


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