Justice and Peace Issues
Laudato Si’ Week
Laudato Si’ Week 2023 Theme: Hope for the Earth, Hope for Humanity
Laudato Si’ Week began as a way to celebrate the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’: On Care For Our Common Home.” Since then, the annual celebration has become a way for all Catholics to unite and rejoice in the progress we’ve made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life and to commit ourselves to further prayer and action for our common home. Pope Francis refers to the “Gospel of Creation” and invites us to recognize in creation a great act of God that is beneficial to the human race.
Ecological Conversion: Changing our hearts
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis identifies our current ecological crisis as a “summons to profound interior conversion.” What everyone needs, he writes, is an “‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them” (LS 217). In essence, ecological conversion is not just changing our actions, but changing our hearts to where we see the intimate connection between God and all beings so we can more readily listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
According to Laudato Si Movement an ecological conversion involves four steps:
– Recognizing that we have harmed creation
– Repentance and turning to the Creator
– Commitment to change and becoming good stewards of creation
– Community conversion
Ecological conversion takes place at the personal level, but as Pope Francis notes, a community conversion is equally important: “Social problems must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of individual good deeds… The ecological conversion needed to bring about lasting change is also a community conversion” (LS 219). Laudato Si’ is not just an encyclical; it is a movement. “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” -Pope Francis (LS #139)
RESOURCES to aid your observance of LAUDATO SI WEEK
“My Granddaughter’s Eyes” video is a powerful call to action on climate change. Through evocative storytelling, the song urges us to see the world through the eyes of future generations and inspires us to make small changes in our daily lives to preserve the planet for posterity.
Mercy Guide to Living “Laudato Si’ offers reflections, actions and resources in relation to the LS Action Platform’s 7 Goals from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Available in Mercy-Guide-to-Living-Laudato-Si-2022_ENG_Final and Spanish.Mercy-Guide-to-Living-Laudato-Si-2022_SPA_Final
Hope for the Earth, Hope for Humanity-Contemplative Guide to Laudato Si’ Week
This guide, 2023 LSWeek ContemplGuide Brochure a collaborative effort of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and the Sisters of Charity of New York, offers a prayerful reflection for each day of the week.