Laudato Si’ Week, a celebration of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and a call to action for Catholics around the world, is being celebrated 16-24 May, 2022.
Throughout Laudato Si’ Week, you and your community are encouraged to join us in reflecting and acting to bring Laudato Si’ to life.
Related: Things to do in Laudato Si’ Week
Goal 5 – Ecological Education
From the Encyclical
“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.” Laudato Si’ n.212.
We are all life-long learners, especially when it comes to the development of our faith, values, relationships, and patterns of behaviour. Laudato Si’ promotes engagement with all facets of our world: science, technology, human development, political, economic, and social paradigms. Ecological education can thus be seen as a means of conversion and integration. It includes ‘… an education in responsible simplicity of life, in grateful contemplation of God’s world, and in concern for the needs of the poor and the protection of the environment’ (LS n 214.)
Pope Francis does not see ecological education as a task for teachers alone. Rather his challenge is addressed to families and a range of other communal contexts. It is not enough to raise awareness of environmental issues. If we want to bring about deep change, we need to realise that certain mindsets really do influence our behaviour. This leads us to promote ‘a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature’ (LS n 215).
Pope Francis’ vision of ecological education moves from ‘care for creation through little daily actions’ (LS n 211), to an affirmation of the role of the Church and political groups in leadership that challenges extreme affluence and consumerism. With humility, Pope Francis places the example of the young, with their ‘new ecological sensitivity and generous spirit’ (LS n 209) at the heart of our education and formation efforts and processes. Creative ecological education programs can ‘enable us to live more fully and to feel that life on earth is worthwhile’ (LS n 212).
God of truth, you are good and your kindness endures forever.
In your Son, Jesus, you give us a teacher who:
fills our minds with questions and concerns, daring and discomfort,
opens our eyes to the brokenness and blessedness of our world,
enlarges our hearts with love for all, and propels our bodies toward those in most need.
Humbly, we place before you our unknowing and desire for truth.
Help us to learn from our land, from the First Peoples, the young, and those made poor.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our risen Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Head: Promote Laudato Si’ themes in homilies, service-learning programmes, strategic planning, learning, and teaching across the formal and informal curriculum.
Heart: Ground action for justice in prayerful reflection on Laudato Si’ themes, relevant Scripture, and resources from the Laudato Si’ Action Platform www.laudatosiactionplatform.org/resources
Hands: Encourage ecological leadership in your work, parish, school, or diocesan context by allocating time and resources for formation opportunities.
In the Diocese of Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta invites all parishes, schools, organisations and families to respond to his invitation to take action on the care of our common home. See the video about this project and find out more here.
With thanks to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace.