Let there be light: Parish cares for God’s creation through solar panels

In Bozeman, Montana, parishioners of Resurrection University Catholic Church are celebrating Earth Day with new solar panels—which were funded by a Catholic Extension grant.

The solar panel installation was organized by the parish’s Creation Care Team, a ministry that promotes environmental sustainability. Its director, Will Wright, said,

“As Catholics, we understand that creation is a gift from the creator. We are excited to live out our faith by better stewarding our natural world through renewable energy.”

Photo by J. Michael Connell

Resurrection Parish serves students at nearby Montana State University. Catholic Extension has supported campus ministry at the parish since 1995, with grants totaling nearly $450,000.

These university students, who are very active in building a community of faith, also prioritize natural resource stewardship and have integrated sustainability measures into many campus activities.

The Creation Care Team is inspired by a national group, Catholic Climate Covenant, that promotes conservation of nature, as outlined by Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato si’, to encourage Catholics to care for creation and the poor.

“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
—Pope Francis, Laudato si’

The installation of the 50-kilowatt solar panels is projected to save the parish about $6,000 per year in energy costs.

Photo by J. Michael Connell

In this region, they are blessed with an abundance of gorgeous natural resources that are truly worthy of protection. 

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