The gift that keeps on giving

Laudato Si' was a big hit at #WYD2016, which goes to show the mainstream place of ecology in the Catholic Church

You may have heard about one million (plus) young people going to Mass with Pope Francis in Krakow. What you may not have known is that World Youth Day 2016 had a hefty eco-presence in celebration of Laudato Si’—which goes to show how that encyclical and its topic has gone mainstream within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

By all accounts the eco-events in Poland went smashingly, and you’re certain to see more of this at World Youth Day in Panama in 2019, and the one after that, and after that, and after that.

But before we go further, yes, there have been sparse postings this summer. On Sunday I finished and sent off a six-month writing project. Between that and ongoing and increasing mom-care responsibilities, my summer postings waned … to … a … drip.

But with the manuscript done, I can now dive again into these pages. And so back to World Youth Day.

The Laudato Si’ Eco-Village became a part of the World Youth Day Youth Festival thanks in large part to the Global Catholic Climate Movement and several of its member organizations—such as CIDSE, CAFOD, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Archdiocese of Manila, CYNESA, Trocaire, and the Saint Francis of Assisi Environmental Movement. The festival offered the young and not-so-young a host workshops, exhibitions, and artistic and cultural performances under the theme “Merciful to God’s creation!” The organizer’s goal was to “inspire participants to learn about, celebrate, and bring Laudato Si’ to life in their lives and in their communities.”

And from all accounts, the Eco-Village did that—and more.

You can read a firsthand account about the WYD eco-efforts from Tomas Insua, GCCM’s Global Coordinator. And here's the post from our good friends at CYNESA. And check out how you can share your own story and and be inspired by others about how to Live Laudato Si'.

Secular eco-advocates also got in on the #WYD Laudato Si' momentum, as seen from the image above of Greenpeace activists thanking Pope Francis for his encyclical. It's good to know that such groups support teachings that defend human life in all its stages!

As for what's next, plans are underway for the Season of Creation (September 1 through October 4) and for another all-out engagement of the international climate talks in December. (As you may remember, Pope Francis’s eco-encyclical hovered over much of last December’s talks—and has been credited for much of the success that took place in Paris.)

You’ll also be hearing updates soon from the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center, the Catholic Climate Covenant (which celebrated its tenth year recently!) and a host of Catholic relief agencies that continue to step up there eco-efforts as they see firsthand the impacts of climate change and other eco-crises.

And, as always, look for commentary that you won’t find anywhere else but Catholic Ecology.

Anyway, it’s good to be back. And a thank you to all who checked in to see how things were over here in this neck of the woods.

For now … stay tuned!

Photo: Flicker/Greenpeace Polska

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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.