Ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. Working across all faiths to protect creation.
“It is good for humanity and the world at large when we believers better recognize the ecological commitments which stem from our convictions” (LS 64)
Prayer for meetings: In the richness of this meeting
Beloved Father, God of Light, send Your Holy Breath to ignite our hearts and enlighten our minds. God of guidance, Protect us and grant us clear and deep thoughts, an open heart and attentive ears. Help us feel each other’s hearts in the richness of this meeting and in the generosity of every exchange.
Gathered here in Your name we entrust to You our frailties and weaknesses. We ask, in return, for You to reveal to us the gift and the hope of being brothers and sisters of peace, love and justice. Amen.
Originally written in Italian by Maria Antonietta Manna, Laudato Si’ Ani- mator. Civita, Calabria, Italy. Maria Antonietta has accompanied us with great love and enthusiasm, and with great professionalism, over the years. Besides being the official translator of the LSM for all documents in Italian, and live interpreter for translations of international webinars, she has always been very active as Animator and in the ecospirituality group. Unfortuna- tely, after an acute illness, her prayers have been with us from heaven since last August 5, and we are confident that what she sowed on earth will grow luxuriantly.
This is a prayer from the Laudato Si’ Movement Prayer Book available for downloading here
Hearing Creation’s Cry
By Friar Eduardo Agosta Scarel OC
In Castellón, Spain, we have been surrounded by fire in the mount forests. The picture is from our convent: the fire in Bejís last night at 11 pm. During the night sister rain came after two months and she is helping control it.
Hearing Creation’s Song
By Antonio Garrido Salcedo
Among the activities of the European Youth Pilgrimage 2022, there was the space “Caring for our Earth”.The young people were invited to learn about the four pillars of integral ecology: the relationship with oneself, with God, with others and with the environment, aspects that are reflected along the Way of St. James.
Ecological conversion story
Ecological conversion through LSA
By Mariella Ferreri, LSA
I live in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, near Naples. I am a wife, mother and grandmother, a catechist and a retired math and science teacher. In 2020, in the midst of the lockdown I willingly participated in the online Laudato Si’ Animators course, and since then divine providence, on which I had previously relied less, has put me on a path of community integral ecological conversion. God arranged for me to meet in the presence of Fernanda, Marcello, Teresa B. and Teresa G, animators from my own area, the first two from my own diocese, who already knew my then pastor, Fr. Ciro OMi, and for him to welcome and accompany us together with Fr. Jacopo OMi and many friends from Immaculata Parish and beyond.
Thus was born the LS Circle of the Tifatini Mountains, which we immediately presented to our Bishop Salvatore. With the Circle we continue to walk trying to carry out various initiatives, of prayer and safeguarding of creation, for example together with an association that is interested in the reforestation of Mount Tifata. In these two years I seem to have finally learned that the effectiveness of what we do is not measurable, and Jesus likes not so much our efforts but the trust we place in Him.
I often think smilingly about the experience we had on October 4, 2020, when, being in Rome for other reasons, we went to the meeting in St. Peter’s Square with the Laudato Si’ Animators. We met, among others, Antonio with his oldest son, Cecilia, Giulia, Tomas. When Pope Francis appeared, at the Angelus, we shouted with them, as we had tried before, raising our banners, “Laudato Si’ – Fratelli tutti” and despite our no longer young age we felt a bit like children.
St. Hildegard of Bingen
Feast Day: September 17
By Patrick Laorden, LSM Theological Consultant
The Sacramentality of Creation
St. Hildegard of Bingen (c. 1098- 1179) was a woman of her time — an abbess, visionary, mystic, composer, and one of four female Doctors of the Church. She came from nobility and was the youngest of ten. At the age of eighteen, Hildegard became a Benedictine nun. She experienced visions of God throughout her life, seeing humans as living sparks of God, like daylight from the sun.
What inspiration can we draw from St. Hildegard of Bingen regarding Laudato Si’ and Care for Creation? Hildegard saw harmony in creation. She had a relationship with creation and understood its sacramentality. Through the Incarnation, God reveals Himself through us and creation. Each creature reflects something of God and communicates something to us. What is a Sacrament? There are three aspects:
1. They are outward signs – God conveys His unseen grace through material and tangible means
2. They are instituted by Christ – fashioned during Jesus’ public ministry and ascension into heaven.
3. They are channels of grace – they give sanctifying grace (participation in the divine life) and actual grace (act on the soul to steer towards the good)
Hence, a sacrament is a sensible sign that Christ instituted, where grace and, in turn, inward sanctification, are communicated to our soul. In chapter six of Laudato Si’, on ecological education and spirituality, Pope Francis writes about sacramental signs:
“The Sacraments are a privileged way in which nature is taken up by God to become a means of mediating supernatural life. Through our worship of God, we are invited to embrace the world on a different plane…For Christians, all the creatures of the material universe find their true meaning in the incarnate Word, for the Son of God has incorporated in his person part of the material world, planting in it a seed of definitive transformation” (LS 235).
Hildegard often referred to God as “the greening”, referring to the Spirit and its renewing power, which enlivens and manifests divinity in all of creation. She says, “The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. This Word manifests itself in every creature.” In her worldview, creation can sing simply through a beam of light.
Considering my own relationship with creation, perhaps I can deepen it, understanding it to be sacramental. The more I partake of the Sacraments, the more my relationship with creation is deepened. St. Hildegard of Bingen, pray for us!
Season of Creation is here!
We are glad to start a new Season of Creation, this year specifically called to “Listen to the Voice of Creation” and to contemplate the “Burning Bush”.
What is the Season of Creation? It’s the annual Christian celebration of prayer and action for our common home. We listen and respond to the cry of creation as one Christian community.
Many voices are muted in public discourse around climate change and the ethics of Earth-keeping. These are voices of those who suffer the impacts of climate change. These are voices of people who hold generational wisdom about how to live gratefully within the limits of the land. These are voices of a diminishing diversity of more-than- human species. It is the voice of the Earth.
Last July, in an unprecedented press conference, Pope Francis’ message was released ahead of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which marks the beginning of the Season of Creation.
In his message, Pope Francis defines the Season of Creation as “an opportunity to cultivate our ‘ecological conversion’”, recalling this concept encouraged by St. John Paul II as a response to the ‘ecological catastrophe’ announced by St. Paul VI as early as 1970.
You are especially invited to join us in this season being a leader in order to lead your local groups to organize a community event and inspire others to live the Season of Creation intensely. You can organize an online or in-person event, on eco-spirituality, lifestyles or advocacy actions.
Resources availables to use in your community:
- Celebration Guide
- One pager
- What is the Season Of Creation?
- Pope Francis’s message
- Editable blog draft for your website
- Email template to share with your community
- Catholic Social Media Kit
- SOC 2022 Official Song