Climate justice: Laudato Si’
In his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, which was written in 2015, Pope Francis addressed the importance of the care of our common home. He appealed to the Church:
“Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Particular appreciations is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet …”
At the conclusion, Pope Francis writes, “In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God …”
Sisters of Providence commitment
Our Congregation has focused on environmental issues for many years.
“As women religious whose mission and legacy it is to honor Divine Providence and to further God’s loving plans by devoting ourselves to works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people, we (the Sisters of Providence) have come to see that mission as extending to interrelationships with all of creation within the entire web of life.”SP Land Ethic, 2013
In 2016, during our General Chapter, in collaboration with our Providence Associates, we chose to place a critical importance on environmental justice.
During our 2021 General Chapter, accompanied by our Providence Associates and other ministry partners, we elected to respond to the call of Providence in four directions, including the environment.
Laudato Si’ Platform Commitment Statement
We, the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, and our wider Providence Community, publicly commit to join the worldwide Catholic community in responding to Pope Francis’ appeal to participate in a seven-year journey toward sustainability and integral ecology by developing a Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
This commitment is made in love, mercy and justice, knowing that we are participating in God’s Providential work of transformation, and trusting in “that Providence that so far has never failed us.”
The action platform names seven goals, including:
- Response to the cry of the Earth,
- Response to the cry of the Poor,
- Ecological Economics,
- Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles,
- Ecological Education,
- Ecological Spirituality and
- Community Resilience and Empowerment.
The Climate Change Task Force recently wrote about the action plan, indicating it has been developed and the formal plan will be available in 2023.
Read more about the plan here.
Another directional commitment we will focus on during the next five years is Resources/Sustainability. Here is our statement:
Recognizing the abundance entrusted to us by our Provident God and the opportunities that come from being attentive both to limits as well as possibilities, and using them to foster creativity, we will cultivate inner and interpersonal transformation and take initiative in order to continue the mission of love, mercy and justice in service among all creation.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement has offered a Lenten Reflection for this year, “Repenting of Ecological Sin and Cultivating Ecological Virtues.” Here is a link to the resource.