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Fresh water and air are essential to wellbeing and health. Mountain air, beaches and iconic scenery provide a haven for rest and reflection on God’s beauty.

As offensive as polluted water and contaminated soil are to all, they also disproportionately impact farmers, minorities and low-income areas of the country. As a response to God’s loving goodness reflected in the earth, and of Christ’s mandate to serve the poor, caring for God’s creation has long been a priority for the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, offers a moral and spiritual challenge to see the earth as a creation of God, a gift shared by and belonging to all.

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Questions about creation to ponder as you consider a candidate:

• How will the candidate address environmental issues, particularly their impact on the poor?

• Does the candidate support policies that will protect the nation’s and the state’s natural resources?