Laudato Si’ Week Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Environmental Encyclical

Protecting our common home

In honor of the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, the Holy Father’s ground-breaking ecological encyclical, Pope Francis has invited all Catholics to participate in a period of prayer and action focused on caring for God’s creation.

Laudato Si’, published in 2015, offers a moral and spiritual challenge for all people – to summon our hearts to profound conversion to care for our ecological interests, and in the process renew relationships with God, one another, and the created world. Caring for our home includes caring for all creation therein.

You can sign up to participate in Laudato Si’ Week, which includes virtual retreats and workshops May 18-23 , culminating in a global day of prayer on May 24. The USCCB has also published prayer cards and other resources for small groups.

The Catholic Climate Covenant – founded to foster ecological awareness and the need to implement Catholic social teaching on ecology within the US Church – is also offering ways to celebrate including a pledge and virtual celebration of prayer, reflections, art, stories and  more.

In related news, the California Conference of Catholic have formed an Environmental Stewardship Committee charged with promoting and supporting issues related to Caring for Our Common Home, the pastoral statement released last year by the California bishops in response to the growing ecological threats to the state of California and the world.

“How we care for and protect our environment impacts our care for each other. They are one and the same,” said Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Gerald Wilkerson of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who is chairing the committee.

“Heeding Pope Francis’ call, the California Conference of Bishops has stated the importance and responsibility of caring for our common home and fighting the poverty among us - both the material and spiritual. This new Environmental Stewardship Committee will further promote and advance the Catholic vision of growing in love for our world and thus each other,” he said.

Other Bishops serving on the committee include Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento; Bishop Gerald Barnes of the Diocese of San Bernardino and Bishop Myron Cotta of the Diocese of Stockton. The committee is looking to have its first meeting in the early fall.

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