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May 14, 2021
Friday May 14th: St. Matthias, Apostle
May 14, 2021

Celebrating Laudato Si’ week

By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI

““…in this time marked by the pandemic we are more aware of the importance of caring for our common home…Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society” (Pope Francis)

Laudato Si’ Week commences today (May 16–24). It honours the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si’ (LS), on care for our common home.

Let’s heed his invitation to think about and undertake “a shared commitment to help build and strengthen constructive attitudes aimed at caring for Creation”.

CCSJ & AMMR invite you to join us in a prayer, scripture, reflection, dialogue virtual session entitled: “…for we know that things can change” (LS 13), on Friday, May 21 from 6 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. via Zoom (see ad) or on our Facebook page. Archbishop Jason Gordon will open the session.

Join us as we come together:

– in adoration to acknowledge God as Creator of everything;

– to express our gratitude to God for the gift/beauty of Creation;

– to examine our consciences and repent for the ways in which we have/continue to exploit and destroy our common home;

– to pray for God’s grace, that He will pour His Holy Spirit upon us so that we will transform our hearts and minds and hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor;

–  to pledge to respect all living things and to be better stewards of His Creation.


Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service reminds us that the term “integral ecology…highlights not just the interconnectedness that exists among God, humanity and creation, but also recognises how political, economic, cultural, social and religious values and decisions are interrelated and affect the way people live with one another on the planet and use its resources. Building on previous church teachings, St John Paul II’s concept of ‘human ecology’ and Pope Benedict XVI’s ‘ecology of man,’ Pope Francis goes one step further with his vision of integral ecology.”

“The solution, Pope Francis said, is an integral ecology that challenges all people to broaden their focus of concern and their daily behaviour to include sustainable environmental ecology; protection of all human life; concrete acts of solidarity with the poor; ethical conduct in economic affairs; greater attention to urban planning to facilitate social relationships and give all people some contact with nature; and protection of people’s cultural heritage in an era when media saturation tends to erase distinctions.”

The Holy Father highlights the connection between migration and climate change, natural disasters and ecological degradation that has led to e.g., environmental refugees, displacement and forced migration. Climate change is adversely impacting on those who live off the land.

Let us ask God to inspire us to develop strategies to protect our common home and the dignity of those whose lives are impacted by the current environmental challenges they face, to a large extent due to human behaviour.

At a recent summit, America, China, and Britain set ambitious new targets to cut carbon emissions. Will they live up to their promises? Climate scientists warn that global warming must not rise more than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

As Michael Howle says, analysts warn that “without new, stronger policies in place to meet the targets, the world could face warming of 2.9C by the end of the century”. See Climate Action Tracker’s views on this issue.

And illegal deforestation in places such as Brazil, shows how some are racing to exploit the earth’s resources.

As the BBC reports, in 2020 “Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has surged to its highest level since 2008…A total of 11,088 sq km (4,281 sq miles) of rainforest were destroyed from August 2019 to July 2020…9.5% increase from the previous year. The Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming…The Amazon is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people.”

In February 2015, Pope Francis reminded us that if one is a Christian, protecting the environment is part of your identity, not an ideological option. He said: “A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God; that work that was born from the love of God for us. And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow.”

Politics is more than a mere mechanism for defining the rules of public life; its origins and its goals are found in justice, which by its very nature has to do with ethics. (28)

PPope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est

CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash