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May 22, 2023

Laudato Si’ Week 2023, commemorating Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical on caring for creation, begins on 21 May and lasts until 28 May. The theme for this year is “Hope for the Earth, Hope for Humanity.”

To celebrate, communities worldwide are encouraged to focus on the film ‘The Letter,’ which follows the journey of five influential leaders as they discuss Laudato Si’ with the Pope. You can watch the film online for free by visiting the Laudato Si’ Week website at https://laudatosiweek.org/.

During the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis expressed gratitude to those organizing events for Laudato Si’ Week. He called for collective efforts to care for our shared home and highlighted the urgency of addressing climate change and its impacts.

The Pope also mentioned recent climate-related disasters, including flooding in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, expressing solidarity with those affected. Additionally, he noted the distribution of Laudato Sí booklets, developed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Stockholm Environmental Institute, to those present in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.

The National Liturgy Office have compiled several resources to use this week: find them all here or have a look below.

The Laudato Si’Movement Prayer Book features moving prayers from around the globe and will help you and your loved ones experience the ecological conversion that St. Pope John Paul II first mentioned and Pope Francis echoed in Laudato Si’.

The Laudato si’ website has lots of information and resources you can use this week.

Daily Reflections and Action

From the Integral Ecology Committee of the Wellington Archdiocese Ecology, Justice and Peace Commission

Monday 22nd May
Laudato Si’ What is happening to our Common Home (#53)

Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. We lack leadership capable of striking out on new paths and meeting the needs of the present with concern for all and without prejudice towards coming generations.

What could you do?

This is an election year. It provides an opportunity:

• to demand from our prospective political leaders their intentions for acting, with urgency, on the advice of the Climate Change Commission;

• to ask whether they are happy to see New Zealand as just a “fast follower” (in John Key’s words) or are prepared to be more ambitious in climate change goals, striking out on new paths without fear or favour and establishing New Zealand as a world leader in climate change initiatives?

Tuesday 23rd May
Laudato Si’ on The Gospel of Creation (#97)

The Lord was able to invite others to be attentive to the beauty that there is in the world because he himself was in constant touch with nature, lending it an attention full of fondness and wonder. As he made his way throughout the land, he often stopped to contemplate the beauty sown by his Father, and invited his disciples to perceive a divine message in things: “Lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest” ( Jn 4:35). “The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but once it has grown, it is the greatest of plants.” (Mt 13:31-32).

What could you do?

• Take the time to go for a walk or sit in a park, give attention “full of fondness and wonder” to your surroundings take in the sights, the sounds, the smells and give a prayer of thanksgiving.

• Feel moved to take action to protect this wonderful creation, from picking up litter as you go to joining a predator free group, a tree planting group, signing a petition etc…

Wednesday 24th May
Laudato Si’ on The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis (#113)

If architecture reflects the spirit of an age, our megastructures and drab apartment blocks express the spirt of globalized technology, where a constant flood of new products coexists with a tedious monotony. Let us refuse to resign ourselves to this and continue to wonder about the purpose and meaning of everything.

What could you do?

• Pause before you consume. Think, “Do I really need it”?

• Remember 3 more “R”s – Refrain, Reduce, Regenerate.

Thursday 25th May
Laudato Si’ on The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis (#119)

Our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God.

What could you do?

Everything is connected. The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are inextricably linked.

• Take some time this week to sit in nature and to sit in a place where people are. Notice afresh nature and the people around you, using all your senses.

Friday 26th May
Laudato Si’ on Cultural Ecology (#146)

…. it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but 3 should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed. For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values.

What could you do?

• Find out to which Māori tribe the area in which you live belonged in 1840.

• What are your reactions towards Te Tiriti, tikanga Māori, cogovernance ….. Are they different to others around you? What can you do to have respectful dialogue on these topics?

Saturday 27th May
Laudato Si’ on Religions in Dialogue with Science (#201)

“The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good, embarking on a path of dialogue which demands patience, selfdiscipline and generosity, always keeping in mind that “realities are greater than ideas”.

What could you do?

• Consider your own neighbourhood through an ecological lens.

• What is one thing you could do, that will improve the quality of life for those (human and other-than-human), who share your neighbourhood?

Sunday 28th May
Laudato Si’ on Ecological Education and Spirituality (#213)

Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere. Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life. Here, though, I would stress the great importance of the family, which is “the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life”.[149] In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank 4 you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.

What could you do for family-based ecological education?

• What family practice can we develop that will help us show more love and respect for the life of our place?

• What parts of our place where we live are looking sad, neglected and in need of our family’s care ?

Prayer of the Faithful

Prepared by Sr Kath Rushton, Christchurch

For urgent action at both an individual and government level to mitigate the effects of climate change in the Pacific, that our ears are opened to hear the cry of the earth as climate change ignites catastrophic typhoons, heatwaves, droughts and flooding that affects all the countries of Oceania.
We pray to the Lord.

For help and support for the people of the Pacific Islands who are suffering the effects of climate change and pollution not of their own making, that the wealthy nations of the Earth provide relief and sustenance to the Island nations of Oceania who are disproportionately suffering from the misuse of our planet’s resources.
We pray to the Lord.

For our eyes to be opened to the issues of systemic poverty in our region, that we heed Pope Francis’ call for an integral ecology which understands that exploitation of both people and resources are the fundamental cause of the ecological crisis we are facing.
We pray to the Lord.

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