January 16, 2012
College of Saint Benedict has become the first college in Minnesota and the fourth in the nation to sign on to the St. Francis Pledge, a nationwide effort being led by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change.
The pledge is a commitment by Catholic individuals, families, parishes, organizations and institutions to live the faith by protecting God's creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.
The other three colleges are Notre Dame (Ind.), St. Michael's College (Vt.) and Salve Regina (R.I).
The St. Francis Pledge is a key piece of the Catholic Climate Covenant, a group of 30 national Catholic organizational partners, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Service, Catholic Health Association of the U.S.A. and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
"As a Benedictine institution, we are committed to the values of stewardship and respect for persons," said MaryAnn Baenninger, CSB president. "The St. Francis Pledge is consistent with the sustainable practices we already enact and value at College of Saint Benedict, and consonant with our Benedictine mission and heritage."
By supporting the pledge, Catholic Climate Covenant partners agree to pray, to learn about and educate others on climate change, to assess their own environmental impact, to act to reduce the ways they contribute to climate change and to advocate for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.
CSB's Sustainability Council endorsed the signing of the pledge and it will be incorporated into CSB's sustainability master plan. "This will help us further integrate our sustainability efforts into our Catholic mission," said Judy Purman, CSB director of sustainability.