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Mission Week 2016

Laudato Si - On the Care of Our Common Home

Book cover illustration from Laudato Si

 

In 2015 Pope Francis issued his encyclical - Laudato Si' - On the Care of Our Common Home.  The impact of the encyclical is going to be significant even outside the Catholic church. Environmentalists and scientists have endorsed the document. Likewise, non-Catholic religious leaders are eager to discuss the encyclical, which will become a topic of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

Fr. Thomas J. Reese is a senior analyst with National Catholic Reporter and has compiled a Readers' Guide complete with study questions to help readers study and discuss Ladauto Si.

Download the Readers' Guide

Photo of Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J.

Study Guides

Discussion Guide to Laudato Sí United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Laudato Sí Homily Helps Suggestions for how to tie the Sunday Gospel readings of Cycle B into specific parts of the encyclical. Includes links for preaching and for parishes, based on the work of Catholic Relief Services

Readers' Guide to Laudato Sí by Fr. Thomas J. Reese, S.J.

Vatican Press Guide to Laudato Sí

Themes from Laudato Si'

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops prepared the following brief descriptions of the major themes found in Laudato Si'

  • A Moral and Spiritual Challenge. The ecological crisis, Pope Francis writes, is a summons to profound interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world.
  • Care for God’s Creation. God created the world and entrusted it to us as a gift. Now we have the responsibility to care for and protect it and all people, who are part of creation. Protecting human dignity is strongly linked to care for creation.
  • We are All Connected. We are connected to the rest of the human family, to the created world, and to those who will come after us in future generations.
  • Impact on the Poor. People in poverty have contributed least to climate change, yet they are disproportionately impacted by it. As a result of excessive use of natural resource by wealthy nations, those who are poor experience pollution, lack of access to clean water, hunger, and more.
  • Called to Solidarity. We are one human family and have a shared responsibility for others and for creation. Wealthy countries have a responsibility to reduce consumption of non-renewal resources and should help poorer nations develop in sustainable ways.
  • Technological and economic development must serve human beings and enhance human dignity, instead of creating an economy of exclusion, so that all people have access to what is needed for authentic human development.
  • Supporting Life, Protecting Creation. Concern for nature is incompatible with failure to protect vulnerable human beings, such as unborn children, people with disabilities, or victims of human trafficking.
  • A Time to Act. Pope Francis calls for a change in lifestyle and consumption. We can make important changes as individuals, families, and communities, and as civil and political leaders.
  • Hope and Joy. “Injustice is not invincible” (no. 74) and we act knowing that we seek to live out God’s vision of renewed relationships with God, ourselves, one another, and creation.