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Merrimack College Joins Pope Francis’ Initiative to Combat Climate Change

The College will establish a working group to explore grassroots responses to the most critical environmental and social challenges laid out in the Vatican's Laudato Si' Action Platform.

Merrimack College has joined a consortium of colleges and universities around the world answering Pope Francis’ call to create concrete actions at the grassroots level to address climate change and other environmental challenges.

Merrimack will establish a College-wide working group to explore ways to address strategies and goals for seven key areas laid out in the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform: Response to the Cry of the Earth, Response to the Cry of the Poor, Ecological Economics, Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles, Ecological Education, Ecological Spirituality and Community Engagement and Participatory Action.

“Merrimack College is answering the call to put into action Pope Francis’ message of integral ecology and find solutions to the most pressing environmental and social challenges,” said Father Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A., vice president for mission and ministry. “This working group will also elevate the College’s ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable planet.”

In 2021, Pope Francis launched the Laudato Si’ Action Platform to mobilize Catholic institutions worldwide to commit to combating the effects of climate change. The Action Platform aims to live out the message of integral ecology in Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be to You).

The Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, Merrimack’s religious sponsor, has also signed on to the Action Platform. As part of the initiative, Merrimack will annually report its progress to the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The working group’s efforts will build on Merrimack’s ongoing commitment to establishing innovative, impactful and sustainable solutions to climate change. As part of the Agenda for the Future, Merrimack will continue to create opportunities for students, faculty and staff to focus on environmental studies, science and outreach experiences.