Laudato Si’ Week Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Environmental Encyclical
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.
California Legislature Back in Session
Amid a myriad of new, strict protocols, members of the California State Assembly returned to the Capitol this week, after a six-week hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Senate will return next week.
While some legislative work has resumed, all lawmakers have been directed to reduce the number of bills they will introduce (commonly 20) down to five or less. Visitors are not allowed and members are only permitted limited staff in the capital building. Elevators are restricted to one rider and neither house will convene to vote on bills until social distancing measures are determined in the chambers.
Governor Newsom also announced this week that California is cautiously entering Phase 2 of his statewide reopening plan today, which will allow certain retail locations to offer curbside service if proper protocols are followed. Some non-contact recreational activities are allowed provided they follow sanitization guidelines. Preventative medical appointments and elective surgeries are have also resumed. The State will look to continue easing restrictions if the number of infections and deaths allow.
On the Web:
Little Sisters of the Poor
During a week in which the Supreme Court heard arguments via telephone for the first time, the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor came back before the justices on Wednesday.
Justices heard from attorneys representing the Trump administration, the Little Sisters, and the state of Pennsylvania, as the nuns were back at the Supreme Court four years after their case against the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate was first considered.
Read more at CatholicNewsAgency.com.
ACT NOW! Demand an Ethically Made COVID-19 Vaccine
Last week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and leaders of many healthcare, bioethics, and pro-life organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Their letter urged the administration to make sure potential vaccines for Coronavirus (COVID-19) are developed ethically and free from any connection to abortion.
CCC Seeks Director of Education
The California Catholic Conference is seeking a Director of Education to manage the public policy outreach for the educational ministry of the Roman Catholic Bishops and Archbishops of California. The Director engages in lobbying, government relations, and public affairs in advocating CCC state and federal public policy priorities pertaining to the educational ministry of the Church. Click here for more information.
The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 13.
May 8, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 17