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Environmental Justice

EnvironmentalJusticeUniversity Ministry is committed to building a sustainable future and to improving the social, economic, spiritual, and environmental well being of our community.  Our mission statement challenges men and women to engage in experiences that challenge our perceptions, to reflect on the meaning of those experiences, and to develop relationships of compassion, justice, and advocacy, including our relationship with earth. University Ministry programs are designed with thoughtful attention to fostering a sustainable society with integrity and unity in our community and world.

White House Initiative

University Ministry took part in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge during the 2011-2012 academic year. Our project focused on environmental sustainability. We recognize that every faith tradition has something to say about the care and concern for the environment. Therefore, we developed a series of programs that invites the USF community to:
  • Explore and understand how different religious traditions approach creation and responsibility to care for the earth.

  • Create awareness of environmental sustainability awareness into social justice and anti-poverty projects, so that when we talk about social justice, we are talking about environmental justice as well.

  • Deepen one’s own personal commitment to an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

  • Join together on April 13, 2013 for April Action, a day-long service project in partnership with a wide variety of environmentally-focused community groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jesuits and the Environment

Portions of the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus pertaining to the environment (complete document available at
The documents of the Thirty-fifth General Congregation of the Society of Jesus clearly states:

This Congregation urges all Jesuits and all partners engaged in the same mission, particularly the universities and research centers, to promote studies and practices focusing on the causes of poverty and the question of the environment’s improvement. We should find ways in which our experiences with refugees and the displaced on one hand, and people who work for the protection of the environment on the other hand, could interact with those institutions, so that research results and advocacy have effective practical benefits for society and the environment. Advocacy and research should serve the poor and those who work for the protection of the environment. (GC 35 Decree 3 #35)

In our preaching, teaching, and retreat direction, we should invite all people to appreciate more deeply our covenant with creation as central to right relationships with God and one another, and to act accordingly in terms of political responsibility, employment, family life, and personal lifestyle. (GC 35 Decree 3 #36)

Portions of the Promotio Justitia’s Healing A Broken World document pertaining to the environment. (complete document available at

Promotio Iustitiae’s Healing A Broken World, a document published by the Social Justice Secretariat at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus, lists the following as one of its recommendations: “Jesuit higher education institutions, theological faculties, business schools, research and capacity-building centers are invited to engage students in transformative education and to explore new themes and areas of interdisciplinary research.”

“The Church, and especially the two most recent Popes, have been insisting on the need for us to collaborate in the efforts to preserve the environment, and thus to protect creation and the poorest populations, who are those most threatened by the consequences of environmental degradation.

The Society of Jesus is also involved in this task. Many Jesuits and collaborators who accompany poor farming communities are attempting to protect the environment and promote sustainable development as an essential condition for the future. The younger generations of Jesuits are especially sensitive in this regard. Some Conferences have made the ecological question an apostolic priority. Most definitely, the Society is engaged in many efforts in this field.

(Healing A Broken World: Promotio Iustitiae p. 7)

We need to proceed in dialogue with the world, with all religions and with those committed to environmental justice. This is a crucial dialogue at the very frontier of the ecological sustainability of all life.

(Healing A Broken World: Promotio Iustitiae p. 17)

The first consideration proposed by Ignatius is the Principle and Foundation (SE, 23). We understand today that creation is ―both a resource from God as well as an avenue to God, making it possible for humans to communicate with each other.

(Healing A Broken World: Promotio Iustitiae p. 34)

Following Ignatius‘ directive that ―love ought to be put more in deeds than in words (SE, 230), we need to make an offering of ourselves with great generosity to heal our relationship with creation

(Healing A Broken World: Promotio Iustitiae p. 34)