THE LETTER: A Message for our Earth: Join us for a viewing and
discussion of The Letter: A Message for our Earth as part of
our Diocesan Celebration of the Season of Creation.
- September 23 from 10am-2pm at
St. Mary's Parish Hall in Waddington OR
- September 24 1-4:30 at St
Anthony’s Church in Watertown OR
- September 30 from 10am-2pm at
the Emmaus Room at St. Peter's in Plattsburgh.
The Letter is a documentary about how spiritual values call us to take action on the ecological crisis. The Letter follows six invited leaders from around the world who were invited to the Vatican by Pope Francis to speak about the effects of climate on their communities. We will screen the 80-minute movie in three segments interspersed with discussion.
Pope Francis in Laudato Si' stated: "I urgently appeal... for a new dialogue about how we are sharing the future of our planet." (LS#14).
The Diocese of Ogdensburg joined with the Diocese of Syracuse to gather together people from around New York State and beyond with hope to help individuals and communities to learn from God’s earth how to be more sustainable and to move significantly forward with practical solutions to promote God’s beautiful, sustainable world. Each evening will included prayer, music, stories, insight and sharing as we commit to care for God's creation!
“We are born, beloved creatures of our Creator…into a world that has lived long before us. We belong to God and to one another, and we are part of creation. And from this understanding, grasped by the heart, must flow our love for each other...” (Let Us Dream, pp 13-14)
“The aim is…to journey together to seek God’s will, allowing differences to harmonize…to meet each other with respect and trust, to believe in our shared unity, and to receive the new thing that the Spirit wishes to reveal to us…. Breakthroughs happen…Ours is a God of Surprises who is always ahead of us.” (Let Us Dream, p. 93)
“This is…a call to each of us…to flow out…into the broad river of reality... to guarantee a world where dignity (that) is valued and respected through concrete actions is not just a dream, but a path to a better future.” (Let Us Dream, pp 103 and 133)
The Green Apple Award is given to school class, faith formation group, parish youth group, family, etc. Green Apple Awards are the result of a collaborative endeavor to encourage action steps to "care for God's creation and share these activities among the schools and parishes in our Dioceses. The Green Apple Awards went to Augustinian Academy in Carthage for the Diocese of Ogdensburg and St. Francis of Assisi Binghamton Faith Formation Group and Confirmation/Youth Group for the Diocese of Syracuse.
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
Laudato Si' "Season of Creation"
September 3, 2020
Live presentation and panel group discussion on Laudato Si’ with a focus on the spiritual connection between God, Humanity and our Earth.
May 18, 2020 LAUDATO SI' : Keynote by Daniel P. Horan, OFM, PhD:
May 20. 2020 10 Ways You Can Live Laudato Si in Families :
May 24, 2020 Bishop Terry R LaValley's Homily:
May 26, 2020 Panel Discussion: Laudato Si and Catholic Social Teaching:
May 26, 2020: Virtual Youth Group Snack Chat Laudato Si' Youth Group:
May 26, 2020 Laudato Si' Roundtable from the USCCB