Warm wishes

As Laudato Si’ Week approaches, there is a stronger focus
on the future of the planet and the role we can all play.

 CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME 

By Sue Martin,
Project Officer, Care for our Common Home Committee at Jesuits Australia

Laudato Si’ Week, which begins on Pentecost Sunday (19 May), is a reminder that we should gather as a global community to nurture seeds of hope for our suffering planet. Laudate Deum, released by Pope Francis in October last year, is a reminder about the urgency of the message in his 2015 Laudato Si’ encyclical and the need for both personal and cultural transformation in the context of our ecological and climate crises.

As the feast of Pentecost is a solemnity, parishes could include some of the suggestions below in their Pentecost Sunday Mass. Alternatively, they might want to hold a separate Mass at another time with a specific focus on Laudato Si’. The guide below has been created using contributions from the Australian Jesuit Province’s Care for our Common Home Committee, Our Lady of the Way Parish, North Sydney annual Laudato Si’ Mass, Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview student Environment Mass and a creation Eucharistic Prayer with a creation emphasis.

This year’s Laudato Si’ Week theme is inspired by “first fruits of hope”, the slogan for Season of Creation 2024. Let us be seeds of hope in our own lives and also for our world, guided by faith and love.

Pope Francis himself reminds us of the need for a chain reaction: “There are no lasting changes without cultural changes … and there are no cultural changes without personal changes.” (LD, 70)

There are seven key areas in overall focus, as outlined in a recent document released by the Care for our Common Home committee:

  • Climate 
  • Our living planet 
  • Our water 
  • Our air 
  • Our food 
  • Our consumption  
  • Our shared future

The seventh of those categories – our shared future – will be defined by the way the world tackles the first six categories.

In Laudato Si’ #49, Pope Francis writes: “A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice.”

In defining the path from reflection to action, the Care for our Common Home committee’s suggestions are:

  • Indigenous peoples have a deep connection with and knowledge of the natural environment.
  • Can you learn more about and from the Indigenous people in your area?

The approach to the other six categories is summarised in the graphic below:

 

Banner image by cooperr007, Canva.