Catholic Energies, a program of Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), is working with Catholic organizations across the country to implement renewable energy and energy efficient solutions that not only will bring positive environmental benefits, but free up resources that organizations can use to further their missions and be an example of how to care for the Earth. A Mercy Partnership Fund loan is helping Catholic Energies expand the program.
CCC was founded with the support of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other partner organizations, including the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, to help educate and equip Catholics to take action on climate change. Beginning in 2016, Catholic Energies began helping Catholic organizations identify, finance and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within their facilities, such as parishes, schools and community centers. Catholic Energies can be a trusted partner with the faith-based facilities owner, working on their behalf to develop turnkey projects including system design, selecting vendors and providing financing. As a result, systems are developed at no cost to the faith-based owner. Two recent Catholic Energies projects include:
- Catholic Energies worked with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., to develop a two-megawatt, ground-based solar system that is the city’s largest solar installation. The system is expected to offset the energy costs of 12 Catholic Charities buildings, enabling the organization to channel the savings back into its mission.
- In Hampton, Virginia, Catholic Energies helped Immaculate Conception Parish with its roof-mounted solar system, which now generates 100% of the parish’s energy needs. This has helped to reduce the financial burden of operating the parish as well as lessen the community’s carbon footprint. As noted by Fr. John Grace, pastor, the parish is, “actively caring for God’s creation by not being a carbon user.” Watch this short video to learn more about this Catholic Energies project.
“Our vision is to make the U.S. Catholic Church the most energy efficient religious organization in the world,” says Dan Misleh, founding executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant. “In this way, we will rise to meet the challenges outlined in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, and be a witness to the communities in which we minister. We are proud to have Mercy Investment Services as one of our supporters as we continue to expand the Catholic Energies program.”
To learn more about the work of Catholic Climate Covenant, visit its website. Catholic Climate Covenant is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio. Learn more here.