Long before Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, was released in 2015, the Vatican and Catholic Church have always been at the forefront of advocating for responsible stewardship through environmental conservation and sustainable practices. The Catholic Church has always been married with science, and has been calling for decades for the global community to take the science of environmental issues more seriously. A quarter-century ago in 1991, Pope Saint John Paul II released his encyclical, Centesimus Annus, urging for us to respect nature and what God has given us.
Today, the Vatican is officially the greenest nation in the world. With the completion of its massive 100-megawatt solar array installation near the Santa Maria de Galeria in 2010, the Vatican became the greenest nation in the world. The installation, along with the other arrays located throughout the city, has the ability to power the entirety of the Vatican solely on solar power without the need for any fossil fuel-based electricity. This has saved the Vatican 45 tons of oil per year since being completed. The Vatican newspaper, Osservatore Romano, reported that with the completion of the photovoltaic array:
“The Vatican has reached a small record in solar energy power production per capita: 200 watts at peak times . . . per inhabitant, compared to 80 in Germany, the world leader in this field.”
However, the green efforts of the Vatican do not stop there. They are researching a new electric vehicle in hopes of replacing the iconic Popemobile with a more environmentally friendly option. The Vatican cafeteria is also looking into a solar heating system to provide for heating and cooling. Pope Francis’ summer residence is even partially powered by the methane given off the horse stables.
While the Vatican and others around the world are very fortunate to be provided with green electricity, that is not the case for everyone. Many around the world live with infrequent or complete lack of access to electricity. Today, the Catholic Church works to provide assistance and aid to the poorest areas of the world to help them gain access to electricity.
Using the most cutting-edge technology, the Pontifical Mission Societies have created MISSIO, a new and innovative Catholic crowd-funding platform that allows you to directly help provide aid and assistance to the poorest of areas around the world.
By donating through MISSIO, you can help the provide sustainable electricity to the 25 dioceses throughout Cameroon, help the Holy Trinity Sisters install solar panels that will power a rescue center for abandoned boys and girls, or help a priest install a solar-powered water pump at a shrine in Burkina Faso.
Choose one of these missions of Pope Francis, and donate directly to them, knowing that 100% of your donation will go directly there. Share them on social media so others can support the projects also.
MISSIO is powered by The Pontifical Mission Societies, the Catholic Church’s official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe.
Check out MISSIO today and start giving!