Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “

Pope Francis – Laudato Si, 2015

Youth Invited to Participate in a Survey

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical on integral ecology and our call to care for all of creation, the Pope specifically asks that we give
youth an opportunity to voice their concerns on and to be a part of finding solutions for the threats to our common home. Here in the archdiocese, the
Laudato Si’ Initiative team is following this directive by inviting all students K12 to participate in a short survey on their concerns around the environment.
The results will help us to determine what faith-based resources we need to find or develop that will encourage and empower students to take action.
The survey can be accessed at and we encourage parents to help younger students complete the survey. We
recognize that younger students may need help understanding and answering the questions, and we want to thank those parents who are willing to help us
include their children’s candid responses. We hope to have participation by students from all grades in order to identify concerns and needs across all of
the different age groups. The survey is open to all students, not just Catholics, allowing for broader representation. We look forward to reporting back our findings and to making
future resources available to all of the youth in our archdiocese and the north Georgia communities within which we live, work and engage.
For additional information, please contact Kat Doyle at the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Justice and Peace Meeting at

To get involved, Contact Nicole Stuhr

The Care for Creation Committee is an effort by Transfiguration Catholic Church to better serve our community through improving our environmental impact as a Parish and community.

Since March of 2019, we’ve had a vision of the future. It started with a note jotted down on a small piece of paper. A huge ask, with a long reach, and the smallest of chances – but we knew there was nothing impossible with God. So we took our note and trusted God. And God has provided every step of the way:

Care for Creation: Revisiting Environmentalism
Recorded Session (From 9-16-21) Contact for more information. 
with Dr. Mark Douglas Changing the Conversation: Talking about climate change without sounding partisan.
Dr. Mark Douglas, professor of Christian Ethics at Colombia Theological Seminary shares dialogue tools and faith-specific resources to engage congregational leaders on climate change and it’s impacts on Georgia’s communities. This special presentation is highly recommended for clergy and congregational faith leaders.

Timeline of Events

  • March 27, 2019 – Karen Paonessa & Fr. Brian McNavish attend Elizabeth Johnson’s  talk on Earth and Religious Teamwork.
  • April – June 2019 – We Researched the best Environmental Practices and HOW we can bring them to Transfiguration
  • June 2019 – Initial contact with Susan Varlomoff, contributor to the Laudato Si Plan. Tailored from the Pope’s encyclical on the environment.
  • July 2019 – Worked with Susan on ideas related to the presentation of the Laudato Si to the Archdioceses of Atlanta.
  • August 23, 2019 – Susan Varlamoff visits Transfiguration Catholic Church for half of a day of instruction to Fr. Brian and Karen on what she has accomplished with the Archdiocese items and a few of the churches of the 1st cohort.
  • August 30, 2019- TWO Grants requested to fund our initiative are submitted.
  • September 1, 2019 – Donald and Marilyn Keough Foundation grant request FUNDED $1,000.
  • September 12, 2019 – Catholic Foundation of North Georgia grant request FUNDED $1,000.
  • October 2019 – First young parishioner to fund $250 to environment.
  • November 2019 – 2022 Pastoral Plan for Transfiguration Catholic Church is Submitted to the Pastoral Advisory Council [PAC] One pillar of the plan is :”LIVING OUR FAITH ” – where our group is involved.
  • December 13, 2019: A representative of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light [GIPL] makes a first visit to Transfiguration to conduct an ENERGY AUDIT. GIPL assists congregations embrace energy efficiency as save money.
  • December 16, 2019 – “Laudato Si Yourself in the World”, a discussion on Facebook Live presented by Karen Paonessa to the community.
  • December 23, 2019 – ENERGY AUDIT is presented by GIPL to Transfiguration.
  • January 6, 2020 – Monday Night 7:00 p.m. Care for Creation Rosary is established for Transfiguration (in the chapel)
  • January 14, 2020 – Conference call with Victor Rodriquez (Director of Finance at Transfiguration), Karen Paonessa, and Codi Norred with GIPL. Discussion: Grant Process and the GIPL Energy Audit Report.
  • January 31, 2020 – Transfiguration added to the GIPL Green Team.
  • February 14, 2020 – Karen Paonessa brings PAC Chair Nancy Prochaska up to sped on Care for Creation church progress.
  • February 15, 2020 – 1st official meeting of the Care for Creation Committee is held. Discussing the plans for Transfiguration.
  • April 16, 2020 – Transfiguration Catholic Church receives ‘Letter of Understanding for Participants’ – 2020 Laudato Si Initiative from the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
  • April 19, 20202 – 2nd official meeting of the Care for Creation Committee is held. Discussion : church’s ‘Action Plan’
  • April 26, 2020 – Care for Creation Ministry Action Plan for 2020 is written. Awaiting approval from the PAC.
  • May 18, 2020 – Pastor sends Signed ‘Letter of Understating for Participants – 2020 Laudato Si Initiative’ to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese  of Atlanta.
  • May 22, 2020 – Zoom Meeting with Pastor Fr. Fernando; Business Manager, Victor Rodriquez; Facility Manager, Chris Wood; and Care for Creation Leader, Karen Paonessa. Hosted by Brian J. Savoie, Archdiocese of Atlanta, Sustainability Program Coordinator, Office of Life, Dignity and Justice

Committee Members

  • Fr. Brian McNavish- Founding Member
  • Karen Paonessa –  Committee Co-Chair
  • Nicole Caruso – Secretary
  • César Zapata – Committee Co-Chair
  • Shellie Kalany – Secretary Support
  • Amy Krakauer – Support

Sign up to be a Volunteer