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Name
Michigan Catholic Conference
Phone
(800) 395-5565
Fax
(517) 372-3940
Address
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

Care for Our Common Home

Reflecting on Laudato Si

May 2020 marked the five-year anniversary of the release of Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, the second encyclical written by Pope Francis. The document focuses on the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching on the environment and seeks to encourage Catholics to live out their moral commitment to protect and care for creation.

Discuss Catholic Teaching

Laudato Si encourages discussion on care for creation teaching. The following questions have been adapted from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to assist in these discussions:

  1. What changes can we make to our lifestyles to combat the throwaway culture?
  2. How can we protect all God’s creatures, including the poor, the unborn, and the elderly?
  3. Do we consume more than we need, and if so, how can we change this habit?
  4. Do we consider the needs of the poor in the way we live our lives and make decisions?
  5. How can we include the perspectives of the vulnerable in actions to care for creation?

Resources

Live Out Care for Creation

Individuals

We have a shared responsibility for others and for the world.

  1. Pray for the care of God’s creation.
  2. Learn more about environmental responsibility and sharing the Church’s teaching.
  3. Teach children about the environment through Catholic storybooks.
  4. Show care for others, recognize the dignity of each person, and nurture relationships.
  5. Buy and cook only what can be reasonably consumed.
  6. Reduce water consumption. One way: use water from your dehumidifier for the plants.
  7. Participate in local Earth Day celebrations.
  8. Reflect upon personal consumption and consumer habits.
  9. Consider before printing documents: is this action necessary?
  10. Support a community garden or farmer’s market.
  11. Conserve energy, such as turning off lights, turning down the furnace or air conditioning, and buying energy efficient appliances.
  12. Find creative ways to reuse or recycle items, whenever possible and safe.
  13. Give thanks for the things you have.
  14. Read Laudato Si and Querida Amazonia.
  15. Take the St. Francis Pledge to care for creation and persons in poverty.

Institutions

  1. Pray for the health of God’s creation: the environment and all creatures.
  2. Share care of creation teaching, including through liturgical resources.
  3. Create a care of creation team.
  4. Join the Michigan Interfaith Power and Light Coalition.
  5. Donate surplus food to soup kitchens or those in need.
  6. Participate in a recycling program.
  7. Organize community clean-up events for natural and shared spaces.
  8. Plant trees and native plants.
  9. Create and register a Kateri Habitat.
  10. Add solar panels to your institution, if feasible.
  11. Support policies that encourage renewable energy, wise management of natural resources, and sustainable agriculture.
  12. Encourage the vulnerable to engage in environmental discussions and express concerns.
  13. Share quotes from Laudato Si in the newsletter, email update, or bulletin.
  14. Support initiatives such as the CRS agriculture and water security programs.
  15. Take the St. Francis Pledge to care for creation and persons in poverty.

Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue.

Pray for the Earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace. Amen.

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Name
Michigan Catholic Conference
Phone
(800) 395-5565
Fax
(517) 372-3940
Email
Address
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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