DILEXIT ECCLESIAM, editors, with material from www.laudatosiweek.org and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Integral Development•
We are in the midst of Laudato Si Week (May 16-24), called by Pope Francis in March of this year, to celebrate the five years of the publication. A week celebrated around the world with workshops, symposia, virtual prayers, supported by dioceses, media, movements and institutions around the world, and which will culminate on Sunday May 24th at noon with a time of collective prayer. Catholics around the world will be united spiritually because “everything is connected”. A phrase that for Schoenstatters sounds like thinking, living and loving organically, which is so important for Fr. Kentenich. —
Although Schoenstatt does not appear either internationally or nationally among the many collaborators that are on the page created for this week, the Global Catholic Movement for Climate, (GCCM), CIDSE, Renova+, the Caritas network as facilitators and Regnum Christi, Focolares, the Jesuits, Radio Maria, Digital Religion, Pax Christi, Signis, Misereor and many more as collaborators – it is a joy to meet CLADEES, the Latin American Center for Social Evangelization, an initiative of the Word of God, Focolare and Schoenstatt movements in Argentina, with its journey on May 23rd. But that is not all, in Costa Rica, motivated by the Laudato Si Commission of the Movement; they are in the midst of a campaign to replace the lamps in the new Movement House with LED bulbs that are of less consumption. With “virtual roses” for the Blessed Mother during the month of May they will pay the expenses for the more ecological lighting. Many Schoenstatters are happy about Laudato Si Week, they share the prayer and materials or they speak to us about their personal initiatives.
In the midst of a pandemic
The fifth anniversary of the encyclical comes in the midst of another turning point – a pandemic – and the message of Laudato Si, is as prophetic today as it was in 2015. The encyclical can indeed provide a moral and spiritual compass for the journey towards the creation of a more supportive, fraternal, peaceful and sustainable world. We have, in fact, a unique opportunity to transform the current groans and birth pangs into the birth pangs of a new way of living together, united in love, compassion and solidarity, and a more harmonious relationship with the natural world, our common home. Truly, COVID-19 has made clear how deeply interconnected and interdependent we all are. As we begin to envision a post-COVID world, we need above all an integral approach since “everything is closely interrelated and the current problems demand a vision capable of taking into account all aspects of the global crisis” (LS, 137).
A time of “jubilee” for the Earth, and for humanity, and for all God’s creatures
The Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development is pleased to announce a Special Laudato Si Anniversary Year from May 24th 2020 to May 24th 2021. We hope that the anniversary year and the following decade will indeed be a time of grace, a true Kairos experience and a time of “jubilee” for the Earth, for humanity, and for all God’s creatures. The anniversary year opens with the Laudato Si‘ 2020 Week, and will proceed with various initiatives, carried out in partnership and with a clear emphasis on “ecological conversion” into “action”. Everyone is invited to join us. The urgency of the situation demands immediate, holistic and unified responses at all levels: local, regional, national and international.
Above all, we need, “a people’s movement” from below, an alliance of all people of good will. As Pope Francis reminds us, “We can all cooperate as God’s instruments for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, participation and talents (LS, 14).
The special year will end in 2021, but it aims to propose a common public commitment towards “total sustainability” to be achieved in 7 years. Many actors are involved: families, dioceses, religious orders, universities, schools, movements, health structures and the business world, with special attention to agricultural enterprises.
Materials and news in abundance on the website
The website laudatosiweek.org offers abundant material and invites you to join in, a calendar of activities, workshops, symposiums, hours of prayer, resources from Laudato Si Week´s collaborators, as well as logos, photos, designs for free use and of course, news in many dioceses, movements and associations.
In East Africa, Brother Benedict Ayodi has seen “unseasonal flooding and the historic locust outbreak that has been aggravated by climate change. We find hope in our spirituality during these times of trial. The presiding bishop of the East African Bishops’ Conference planted a tree in a public garden on the occasion of Laudato Si Week, in a spirit of solidarity with the people of the whole region.
In the Philippines, communities were devastated by last weekend’s typhoon. MCMC’s campaign manager, Cheryl Dugan, says, “we are at the tipping point of climate change and a poor health system. Our spirituality is what gives us hope and lifts us up”. The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences is encouraging the faithful to find hope together by sending WhatsApp messages to participate in the Laudato Si Week.
During Laudato Si Week, May 16-24, the Jesuit Forum for Faith and Social Justice in Canada, invites Catholics to take time to listen to one another. The Toronto-based organization has prepared two resources that will help Catholics grow in their faith and study the encyclical, which calls on all people to “listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” and to take better care of creation.
Victoria Blanco, the forum’s administrative and program director encouraged the use of the resources in small groups to discuss how they can help create a better future. “This is the right time to look at this document and reflect on our faith and what it means to care for our common home and thus move toward a righteous recovery,” Blanco said.
“Caring for Our Common Home” is a nine-sections guide that provides the opportunity for small groups to deepen their understanding of the topics in Pope Francis’ encyclical that are transforming the world. “We encourage these groups to engage in personal conversation using the guide,” says Blanco. She also invited participants to share their life experiences that moved them to care for creation so that they can get to know each other on a deeper level. “One of the most important things you can do to fight climate change is to talk about it,” said Blanco. She especially encouraged groups to spend time practicing active listening. “It’s important not to think about your answers before it’s your turn,” She said. “It’s not a debate or a discussion … listening is the fundamental verb we want to emphasize.
Original: Spanish 2020-05-20. Translated by Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México.