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Laudato Si’ Week 2022

22-29th May is the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si. This year’s theme for Laudato Si’ Week is listening and journeying together.

Here at Jesuit Missions we are working on behalf of those who are already impacted by climate change. We know from your response at the time of COP26 that you want to be part of this change.

Listening and Journeying Together

This year we are focusing on how we learn from one an other on our journey to protecting our common home .

To celebrate all that is happening to care for our common home we are inviting our supporters to put themselves on the map!

Below you will find an interactive map which is sharing what is happening in schools, parishes, university chaplaincies and Jesuit works and communities around the UK. The ask is simple!

One action

Please provide us with one action that you are doing to care for our common home. We know that there are amazing things happening, ranging from urban gardens to arboretums. Let us know what is happening where you are!

One quote

One short quote of no more than 300 characters telling us how your community is responding to the challenge of fighting climate change and listening to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

One photo

One high resolution photo showing us some of the work that is happening where you are.

Send these to Colm Fahy, Advocacy and Campaigns Officer, at: colm@jesuitmissions.org.uk to help grow the map and to share ALL of the fantastic work that you are doing.

My Place in Creation

A reflection by Jacques St Laurent SJ

In creation, every living thing, even your neighbour’s neurotic dog, has its own unique place. Whether sleeping or hunting, fighting or mating, each living thing occupies a niche that contributes to the maintenance of the complex and beautiful web of life on our planet. For much of our evolutionary history, we have had little choice but to take our place in this web. Today, however, we are only too conscious that our sense of place in creation is being lost. We are in danger of excluding ourselves and others from our common home.

Jacques St Laurent SJ is a native of Guildford and a Jesuit in formation. After studying Philosophy in Paris he is currently working on the spirituality team at St Beunos.

Do you have a sense of your place in the web of creation? In Laudato Si, Pope Francis reminds us that, “we are part of nature, included in it” (§139). Feeling separated from creation can limit your sense of connection and responsibility towards all the weird and wonderful beings in our common home, including your neighbour’s neurotic dog. Many today feel this separation. We need to help each other rediscover our place in creation.

Reconnection with creation may require us to reconsider our assumptions about what it is to live a meaningful life. For some time, the dominant narrative has encouraged us to go bigger-faster-longer without constraint. However, we are becoming increasingly aware of how this cultivates a “disordered desire to consume” (§123). Over consumption leads to inequality, which in turn creates a sense of isolation. If we wish to be connected to others and creation, we need a more helpful narrative about our place in creation.

The message of Laudato Si echo’s that of many other movements by challenging the consumerist culture. The encyclical encourages us to find meaning in cultivating a rich “shared cultural ecology” (§143) and “ecology of daily life” (§147). Recognising the value of our shared human culture and mutual inter-dependence restores a sense of solidarity with others that re-situates us in creation. When we recover a sense of our place in creation, a “passionate concern for the protection of our world” (§216) and the feeling of being “held within a network of solidarity and belonging” (§148) comes naturally.

I invite you to take some time to reflect on your place in creation. What steps can you take to include all people, especially the marginalised, in your cultural ecology? What does an ecology of life that honours the respect and dignity due to all of creation (yes, even your neighbour’s dog) look like for you?

Journeying with Youth in Caring for our Common Home

An update from the Jesuit Uramani Centre in Rwanda

In October 2020, the Jesuit Urumuri Centre (JUC), a social centre of the Jesuits in Rwanda, with the generous help of Jesuit Missions and in collaboration with the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) organized an international conference on Laudato Si. The conference brought together pastors, politicians, members of academia with interest in environment protection and youth. “Young people as actors and promoters of the care for our common home: the integral human development challenge in the Great Lakes Region of Africa” was the theme of the conference. This successful conference gave pertinent recommendations, among them the commitment to increase awareness of adolescents and young adults of the need of protection of environment.

The conference in action

This year we are celebrating the 7th publication of Laudato Si encyclical letter with immense joy, which comes from the journey we have embarked on. Responding to the above mentioned reccomandation from the 2020 Conference, JUC has embarked on a journey of the promotion of environmental conservation and ecological culture through improved land utilization of school gardens and sustaining school feeding programs for vulnerable children in the Archdiocese of Kigali. JUC is partnering with 15 schools: a practical training manual on the most important topics in environmental education such the importance of environment, biodiversity, climate change has been developed and soon school farms will be established. Initially close to 7500 students will benefit from this effort of transforming them into actors and promoters of the care for our common home.

In the meantime JUC has established a nursery for plants that will be distributed in partner schools. The ultimate expected outcomes of this concept are the improvement of the ecological awareness and local stewardship among school communities that will culminate in liberating poor children education from hunger consequences by giving them access to lunch thanks to revenues made from school farms management.

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