“Laudato si! (LS) Praised be for “our common home which is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us” (LS #1) Caring for Creation has been a part of our Marianist tradition, lived experiences and mission. At this critical time for our planet and people, we are impelled by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si towards an integral ecology and the ecological conversion required. We embrace the transformative visions of our Marianist founders and other ancestors in faith to incarnate a lived response in our Marianist lives – personal and communal.

Pope Francis calls all of us – people of faith and good will - to an ongoing dialogue to find solutions. He says, “We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the underprivileged, and at the same time protecting nature.” (LS #139) Pope Francis recognizes the work already done by many of us. “Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest.” (LS #13)

This message of Laudato Si impels us in all our communities, ministries and spheres of influence to “hear the cry of the earth and the poor” (LS #49). Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. (LS #19)

This discussion guide is designed for communities to reflect on Laudato Si together, and to discern actions they can take to care for God’s creation.