Archbishop Sets Example for Reducing Energy Use
Last week, as many American bishops have or will this summer, Archbishop Dennis Schnurr held a public event addressing one of the topics in Pope Francis’s first encyclical, Laudato Si’.
Archbishop Schnurr’s topic was energy conservation, and he brought a host of people with him to St. Monica-St. George Church in Clfton (OH) to discuss it in a press conference. Representatives from more than 30 organizations, including hospitals, religious congregations, businesses, educational organizations — including several college and university presidents — and non-profits organizations came out to support his message that it’s both good and possible to reduce energy use.
“The Holy Father’s message is an urgent, spiritual call addressed to ‘every person living on this planet’ to better care for our common home, the Earth and all of us can do something to ensure this planet remains as God intended,” said the Archbishop. “We are calling on all residents to use less and save energy more. We are also asking local utilities and businesses to prioritize programs for energy efficiency and use fewer fossil fuels in energy production and economic activities. And we are calling on policymakers at all levels to prioritize care for creation in their considerations.”
The Archbishop said those priorities might include more energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives from the state, as well as a program of national carbon standards, which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supports. He encouraged leaders to engage in a robust and healthy debate about how to go about establishing effective policies, but emphasized that “we must act to guide market forces and individual actions towards the common good.”
Jeff Bohrer, property manager for the Archdiocese, talked about energy reduction in its properties and Dan Misleh, Executive Director of Catholic Climate Covenant, urged broad action by American Catholics to get our leaders to support clean energy and climate policies.
“We must act boldly by example and must engage fully in the public square to remind policymakers that the common good should be at the forefront of their concerns,” Misleh said. “For Catholics and others of faith, economic and political decisions always have moral consequences, including those within the energy sector.”
Cincinnati’s event, Misleh said, was part of a series of events Covenant is supporting around the country.
Fr. Al Hirt, pastor of St. Monica-St. George, also spoke, as did a local homeowner.
Also present to answer questions and share ideas were:
- Jeffrey K. Wilmink, Director Mechanical, Century Mechanical Solutions, Inc.
- Chip Williamson, Principal, Chameleon Architecture
- John P. Tafaro, President, Chatfield College
- Fr. Bill Verbryke, SJ, Cincinnati Jesuit Community
- Sr. Barbara Rohe, CDP and Sr. Margie Verhoff, CDP, Congregation of Divine Providence
- Sr. Jeannie Masterson, Congregation of St. Joseph
- Belinda Kenley, Vice President & Director of Business Development and Marketing Energy Optimizers, USA
- Jeremy Faust, Strategic Business Development Director. Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
- Hamilton County Environmental Services
- Hanley Sustainability Institute, University of Dayton
- Zach Duncan, Innovative Lighting Solutions, LLC
- Sr. Leanne Jablonski, OFM. Marianist Environmental Education Center
- Steve Melink,Melink Corporation
- Sr. Cheryl Erb, Mercy Health Partners
- John Fishpaw, Vice President to Advocacy and Government Relations
- Sr. Doris Gottemoeller, RSM, Vice Chair of Partners in Catholic Health Ministries
- Sr. Kathy Green, RSM, Senior Vice President of Mission and Values Integration
- Michael McQueary, Manager of Advocacy and Government Relations
- Mark Skaja, Vice President of Mission and Spiritual Care
- Sara Ward, Executive Director, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light
- Sr. Sally Duffy, SC, Executive Director, SC Ministry Foundation
- Sr. Christina Bartsch, SNDdeN. Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur – Ohio Province
- Dr. Daniel Curran, President, University of Dayton
- Sr. Phyllis Kemper, OSU, Ursulines of Brown County
- Doug Van Dyke, Van Martin Roofing
- Sr. Barbara Busch, SC, Executive Director, Working In Neighborhoods, Inc.
- Fr. Ed Burns, Wright State University Catholic Campus Ministry
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