|Marybeth Lorbiecki, M.A., is the Director of the Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign (IOEC), a joint program of the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care (NRCCC) and the Franciscan Action Network. The IOEC is devoted to protecting and restoring God’s oceans—their systems, species, and peoples. As director, she has spoken up at the United Nations and worked with the Holy See, Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, international Alliance of Religions and Conservation, and advisers to Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and the 14th Dalai Lama.
A Midwesterner with a love for travel, Lorbiecki graduated from St. Catherine University with a background in theology, and earned an M.A. in literature and writing at the University of Minnesota–Mankato. Awarded an International Rotarian Scholarship, she pursued post-graduate work in philosophy at the University of Essex, England. She had the pleasure of living in an international residence hall with thirteen other graduate women in varied professional fields from countries around the world (South Africa, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Singapore, Mauritius, Greece, Morocco, and China, among others). You can imagine the conversations they had over “tea” about religion, politics, government, racism, history, culture, and the environment.
She also served as a Catholic volunteer in Appalachia and in a disadvantaged Hispanic community in southern Colorado. Later, she taught theology at a Catholic high school for girls in Denver.
Research on the conservationist Aldo Leopold and his land ethic led Lorbiecki to examine the Bible for its teachings. She discovered a faith mandate to care for the land, animals, the poor, and all of God’s creation that was woven like a golden thread through the Old and New Testaments. Inspired, she became a key member and adviser of the NRCCC and began her decades long study of Pope John Paul II’s writings on ecology.
Besides Lorbiecki’s compelling nonfiction works for adults, she has over 25 award-winning children’s books. Most explore the relationships between people and the land. She loves to help introduce young people to the wonder of nature all around them.
She’s been an editor and adjunct university professor (along with the usual jobs of waitress, factory worker, etc.). She grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and continues to live in the Midwest, within driving range of one of her favorite places—the Boundary Waters Canoe Area—with her husband and her three children, soon to be on their own.
(photo credit: Gina Marrow)
Please request permission before using text or images on this site. Photo of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala by Jules Hermes