Laudato Si’ Year celebrates the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home.
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SEASON OF CREATION: September 1 – October 4
Season of Creation is an annual ecumenical celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home starting September 1 – the World Day of Prayer for Creation – to October 4 – the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. This year it takes place in the Laudato Si’ Year of celebration called for by Pope Francis, and we are invited to take part.
The Laudato Si’ group and the Faith and Ecology groups around the diocese are planning opportunities for learning more about the issues presented through three Zoom discussion: September 3, September 17 and October 1 from 7pm to 8pm.
For Zoom information, please contact John Tenbusch at
October 4, 2020: Feast of St. Francis.
Understanding Laudato Si Series
by Fr. Daniel P Horan, OFM
What is the purpose of our life in this world? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis strives to answer the questions at the very heart of our existence. He says, “Unless we struggle with these deeper issues, I do not believe that our concern for ecology will produce significant results.” (L.S. #160)
Several themes that unify this encyclical:
* The intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet.
* The conviction that everything in the world is connected.
* The critique of new forms of power derived from technology.
* The call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress.
* The “value proper to each creature and the human meaning of ecology.
* The need for forthright and honest debate *the serious responsibility of international and local policy.
* The throwaway culture and the proposal of a new lifestyle.
* Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis, p. 161; 2015 Our Sunday Visitor www.OSV.com
General Questions for Reflection for each episode:
* What was one message in particular that struck you as most important and why?
* Were there any ways that your interpretation of the topic differed from the presenter’s?
* How might this new knowledge be helpful in your own personal life and/or work?
Episode 1: Models of Creation
Question for Reflection: Which of the three models of creation- Dominion/Stewardship/Kinship- presented in video 1 do you relate to the most? How does that affect your relationship to the earth and your role in this world?
Episode 2: Situating Laudato Si
Question for Reflection: Laudato Si is addressed to everyone, because we are all share in this common home, and we are all needed to find ways to care for it. Have there been times or ways that you have been indifferent in caring for this ‘common home,’ the earth? What is one thing that you can change or do to care for our common home.
Episode 3: What is Happening to our Common Home?
Question for Reflection: Pope Francis echoes Vatican II in that we are called to see the signs of the times. Where do you see signs and effects of pollution and climate change; lack of water or clean drinking water; and a loss of biodiversity? What are some ways that you can assist others in countering these problems?
Episode 4: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor
Question for Reflection: How difficult is it to have a discussion with someone who disagrees with your point of view? Do you dismiss them out of hand or listen to what they are saying? “There is no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.” (LS 52) Have you ever dismissed or ignored an issue because of indifference or perhaps because you were simply overwhelmed by the immensity of the problem? Rather than avoiding the issue, is there one small action that you can take?
Episode 5: Back to the 'Beginning
Question for Reflection: Faith and science are not in opposition. There is wisdom in biblical accounts and the mystery of the universe points to the creator who brought everything into existence out of nothing and continues to hold all of creating into existence until it returns to him. How has your faith informed your response to the current ecological crisis?
Episode 6: A Universal Communion
Question for Reflection: Alongside revelation contained in Scripture, “there is divine manifestation in the blaze of the sun and the fall of night.” How have you experienced God in Creation?
Episode 7: The 'Technocratic Paradigm'
Question for Reflection: Pope Francis states, “Technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power?” (136) What does Francis see as the positive and negative aspects of biological technologies? What is your own experience of technology?
Episode 8: Human Responsibility
Question for Reflection: “Our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God.” (119) How do you experience the connection between employment, the environment and God?
Episode 9: Integral Ecology
Question for Reflection: Pope Francis emphasizes how everything is interconnected in the web of life. Why does Francis think it is important for us to understand ecosystems and our relationship to them? What are some examples of the interconnectedness of the universe that you have experienced in your life? How does seeing everything as connected change the way you see the world?
Episode 10: Intergenerational Solidarity
Question for Reflection: The notion of common good of all extends to future generations. “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us now and to generations to come?” (L.S.160) St. John Paul II refers to the family as the "domestic church.” What do you see as the role of family in caring for the common good?
Episode 11: Dialogue in Moving Forward
Question for Reflection: “Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (L.S. 164) Why is dialogue in creating and carrying out a common plan essential?
Episode 12: Politics, Economy, and Science
Question for Reflection: What are the separate roles of religion and science? How can they dialogue and work together?
Episode 13: Things Must Change
Question for Reflection: Throughout this encyclical, Francis links concern for the poor with care for the environment. Why does he do that? How does that challenge us in our daily choices?
Episode 14: Conclusion: In Union with all Creation
Question for Reflection: Pope Francis calls us to an ‘ecological conversion.’ What is one way that our lifestyle might change if we developed an attitude of Christian simplicity where ‘less is more?’
Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home by Pope Francis Questions Pub. Our Sunday Visitor c.2015 Our Sunday Visitor www.OSV.com
YouTube Videos “Understanding Laudato Si” by Dan Horan OFM, EP01-EP14
Questions from “A Reader’s Guide to Laudato Si” by Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese See USCCB