Catholic Creation Care
Tools for Parish Leaders
Pastoral Planning

For Families & Children

Family faith formation is the beating heart of parish ministry. If you can engage the energy and spirit of your parents and children, it will fuel your whole parish-wide effort. We encourage you to make family faith formation the core of your creation care approach and to build your other initiatives around it.

Camp-Style Programs: Fun & Dynamic Events

Vacation Bible school events are most often held over the course of a week during the summer months, but can also be adapted to a weekend event or other formats. They incorporate worship and drama, spirited song and movement, Bible learning, art, active games, and more. They are targeted to children up to 5th grade, but older children can participate as leaders.

Great Big Beautiful World VBS NEW!

Through worship and drama, song and movement, Bible study, nature-themed art projects and snacks, active games, and science explorations, children will discover God’s love for all of creation. They will be challenged to care for God’s world in tangible ways—both during VBS and at home. The five Bible stories will lead children on an awesome adventure through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It includes two tracks: one for preschool and one for K-5.

A Growing Up Catholic VBS theme • Sold per-parish as downloadable ($129) and/or physical ($79) kits, with add-on options.

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EarthKeepers VBS: Adventures for Creation Care Kids

This simpler VBS kit also teaches Pope Francis' encyclical, On Care for Our Common Home, in an engaging and age-appropriate way. The Scripture-centered approach incorporates additional stories that bring the covered topics alive.

A Growing Up Catholic VBS theme • Sold per-parish as downloadable ($109) and/or physical ($69) kits, with add-on options.

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Family Service and Mission Experiences

Families on a Mission: Creation Care

This program will give your parish families the experience of service, justice and discipleship. Our event kit will help you facilitate a local service project with an ecological basis and learn about Pope Francis' Laudato Si'. In addition to hands-on service, families will participate in retreat-like sessions to pray, learn, have fun, reflect, and share meals.

Not only will families grow in faith as they serve and learn together with other families from your parish, but your parish will also be recognized as an indispensable resource in your local community by meeting real needs. Lasting relationships will be formed among the families and between your parish and service agencies in your community.

By the Center for Ministry Development • Sold per-parish as downloadable ($59) or physical ($79) kits.

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Activity-Based Tools for Catechetical Sessions

LearningCycles: Let There Be Light

Creative Activities for Cultivating Gratitude and Care for Creation

The LearningCycles series offers a creative approach to faith formation based on different learning styles, appropriate for K-5th graders. This unit is a toolkit of ideas for holding eight workshops: Art, Story, Drama & Activity, Music, Kitchen, Movie, Publishing, and Garden. It works well for child sessions or whole family/intergenerational catechesis.

This simple resource focuses on the creation story. Teach children that we live in a magnificent, intricate world brought into existence by a loving Creator who has now given human beings the responsibility to care for this wonderful creation.

By Tracey E. Herzer • Sold per-parish as a downloadable/reproducible resource. • $9/parish

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Teaching Kids to Care for God’s Creation

Reflections, Activities and Prayers for Catechists and Families

Thirty short lessons that will engage children, catechists, and families in the good work of keeping our planet livable and sustainable for coming generations. Inspired by passages in Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home), the lessons and practical activities are fun and thought-provoking.

The reflections and prayers in each lesson help connect our practical actions to the gospel and deepen our spiritual sense of our common home. From activities for conserving water to developing a greater awareness of all of God’s creation, this book is a great resource for catechists and families.

By Sr Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ • Paperback book • $9.95 From $8.75

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The Faithful Citizen: How to Teach Children about Faith and Public Policy

Laudato Si' calls on all of us to work through our political system to promote the common good: for all people and the rest of creation (especially see Chapter 5). Pope Francis says that change will not happen unless we influence those in power. Likewise, he urges us to work through community organizations and other groups to create a better world.

This guide will help parents and teachers nurture a child's Christ-like compassion and to develop a sense of political and community responsibility. It provides tips for three age groups: preschool through grade 2, grades 3 through 6, and middle through high school. Specific suggestions are made for school and religious education classes and at home.

By Anne Neuberger • Downloadable eResource • $11/parish

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Creation Care Kids: Problem Solvers

This resource includes ideas, links, resources, and questions to help kids learn about people who have taken action to care for our common home. This extensive classroom tool will help you design lessons or guide children in directed study. Includes: "Heroes for Animals," "Big Name Hunters" (famous creation caretakers), "Creation Care Communion of Saints," "Kid Fixers," and more!

By Anne Neuberger • Downloadable eResource • Free

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School/Classroom Curriculum

Creation Care Kids Mini-Curriculum

This ancillary curriculum has been designed to be flexible, formatted in short segments that can be added to your existing catechetical program, incorporated into the school day, or combined into longer sessions.

Based on the same core content as the EarthKeepers VBS, it includes eight sessions of 20 to 45+ minutes. Each session comes with a two-page child handout and a leader handout with talking points. Editions are included for both ages 5-8 and ages 9-12.

By Paul Canavese & Anne Neuberger • Sold per-parish as a downloadable/reproducible resource. • $24/school or parish

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Taking Sunday School Outside

This interactive curriculum focuses on helping children and their families get to know God through creation.

By Jared Goodykoontz, LDBB/BFA Naturalist • Sold as a downloadable/reproducible resource. • $25

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Take-Home Family Handouts

Weekly Prompts

Creation Care Tips

Weekly Prompts to Care for Our Common Home

One year of paragraph-length reflections. Challenge your parishioners and families to take actions inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si'. Tips are correlated to the lectionary cycle and/or calendar year. Paste them right into your bulletin, social media feed, email, or newsletter.

By The Pastoral Center and Green Churches Network • 16 pages • Downloadable, reproducible eResource • $12/parish

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Videos

Laudato Si' - Catholic Relief Services Elementary Animated Brief

I'm Only a Kid, There's Nothing I Can Do About Global Warming, Right?

(Global Weirding, Katherine Hayhoe)

Story Books