Care for Creation Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of Laudato Si'

Join us in celebrating Laudato Si' Week with our livestream, "The Climate is Changing so Why Aren’t We? Perspectives on Environmental Activism." We'll hear from youth activists on the frontlines of environmental injustice.

May 19, 2020 — May marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’. Through this landmark encyclical, Pope Francis called the Church and all people to transform our relationship with creation by responding to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Five years later, this message remains vital as global communities face ecological destruction, climate change, resource exploitation and extreme poverty.

Addressing these injustices can feel daunting, if not impossible at times. So, let us start from a place of reflection and hope, asking ourselves how we connect with earth and creation. Our experience of God in nature and one another can ground our “ecological conversion.” Through prayer and reflection, we can see a new path forward rooted in harmony with God’s creation, renewing our commitment to advocacy and action on behalf of our planet and its most vulnerable people.

We asked some of our global partners to reflect on their connection with God and creation. Their responses show how we can celebrate this Laudato Si’ Week and carry its message into the future.

Standing on an untouched shore of Lake Superior, taking in the power and purity of her graceful, rhythmic waves, I feel closest to God. There is an ancient quality to this pristine, cold and deep body of water that brings me into another time, a time before human capacity would overpower and spoil God’s masterpieces. Here I hear a calling to protect and defend God’s Creation, and I abide.

Nancy Tuchman, Founding Dean of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago

Photo credit: Lorie Shaull (Flickr)

The Adirondacks in northern New York state, where I’ve spent many hours hiking to the rugged peaks, is my Laudato Si’ place. I have to believe in a loving God who created such beauty, and it’s reassuring that humans can sometimes summon the wisdom to preserve such landscapes as forever wild.

Marianne Comfort, member of the Inter-religious Working Group on Extractive Industries.

Being in nature, being in places of natural beauty, connects me to the Creator, to the divine, and I wonder in awe how this beauty in nature was created. What is sometimes not obvious is connecting with God, creation, and humanity where there is injustice, where there are unspeakable horrors and tragedies of people in wars and conflicts, of lands and waters decimated and stripped of life. But that must be the other side of God where He wants us to connect.

Sylvia Miclat, Executive Director of Environmental Science for Social Change

Photo: A volcano erupts in the Philippines (Eloisa Lopez)

Very few of days pass without me hugging a tree. It's how I feel the pulse of wise Earth in silent circulation.

Greg Kennedy, SJ, Spiritual Director at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre

I find resonance and peace when I walk in the woods. When I can share the beauty of creation and awe for Spring bursting forth with my son, the world feels hopeful. I know God’s deep hope is for our global community to thrive—to not only have sustainable livelihoods but also joy at our interconnectedness with each other and the earth.

Kelly Tadeo Orbik, Associate Director of John P. Schlegel, SJ Center for Service and Justice at Creighton University

Photo credit: Wiki Commons

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MegAnne Liebsch