This annual commemorative week is offered at the request of Pope Francis and facilitated overall by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.  Some resources included are offered through www.laudatosiactionplatform.org family sector have been taken from the LAUDATO SI MOVEMENT, CAFOD STUDY GUIDE, IMBISA manual and more.    

DAILY LAUDATO SI’ PRAYER:     Blessed Trinity, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you.  Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made.  Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is” (LS 246). Mary Queen of creation, pray for us.

May 22.  Sunday Easter 6C.   Fr Peter was a family life supporter and had become increasingly excited about the idea of The World as a Family of Families and how it put into practice the teaching of Pope Francis.  He started his homily by saying, “🎉 The #LaudatoSiWeek with the theme “Listen and Walk Together” is here! 🗓️ May 22 – 29, 2022 🔗 laudatosiweek.org  #LaudatoSi7. This year Catholics on six continents will work on “bringing the human family together to protect our common home” (LS 13), which is the guiding Laudato Si’ quote for the weeklong celebration.  As Catholics across the globe work to l unite their communities in action they will learn more about how Laudato Si’ offers a blueprint for prayer and action on tackling the climate crisis.  Since Pope Francis issued his encyclical in 2015 there has been a growing movement of awareness-raising and action.  The www.laudatosiactionplatform.org was launched in 2021 with specific goals, each of which will be a focus for one of the days of this week and different sectors are invited to enroll in the platform.  The sector “families and individuals” is particularly relevant on this Sunday in the light of today’s gospel.  In our day our thinking has been broadened too with a use of inclusive language. It is not only a man who is invited to love Jesus so that he and the Father will make their home with him, nor is it a  woman, but the invitation is to a family, in whose home God will live and make a home.   The concept of home and family is broadened even more with the understanding of the earth as our common home.  In that sense it includes all the ecosystems of animals and plants too.  As I love to say, “the earth in all its fullness is God’s home.”

Reflect, share and act. Scripture.  Jesus said, “if a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. The Counsellor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things.  John 14:23-29.   Pope Francis: Families and homes go together.  This makes us see how important it is to insist on the rights of the family and not only those of individuals.  AL44. The urgent challenge to protect, the earth, our common home, includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.  LS 13  What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? LS 160.  Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 23.  Monday Laudato Si week theme:  Response to the cry of the earth.  Reflect, share and act. CAFOD, Witness from Brazil.   Davi Kopenawa Yanomami is founder and President of the Hutukara Yanomami Association, which defends the rights of the threatened Yanomami and Ye’kuana indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon.  “Our country, Brazil, is very beautiful,” says Davi Kopenawa passionately, “full of harmony, trees, it has lots of clean water. But the Brazilian Government does not want to protect and preserve nature. It wants to take the wealth from the land. It will destroy the forest, it will destroy the indigenous people… So that is why I am worried and angry, very angry.”  Small-scale illegal gold miners and farmers have repeatedly invaded our Yanomami indigenous territory, burning down the forest and polluting rivers. On top of this, the Yanomami and Ye’kuana people are increasingly feeling the impacts of climate change, affecting their health and environment. Like all his people, Davi is deeply attuned to the natural world, and the changes he perceives are profound. “We, indigenous communities, are saying, “look at the sky, it’s changing, the sun is changing, the rain is changing.”  Davi warns that the world will suffer if the rainforest is destroyed. “The people in the cities, we want them to listen and believe us. They don’t see how things are changing.” From his home in Watoriki, ‘The Mountain of the Wind’, he urges us to act: “Think of the earth. It is life. The forest is life. Water is life.”    Can you relate this story to your own environment in any way?   What action could you take?

Reflect, share, act. Scripture.  The Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me, and you also are witnesses. They will put you out of the synagogues, indeed the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.   John 15:26-27.   Pope Francis:   It is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions.  When they remain on the land they care for it best.  LS146.   Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture, invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness.  LS12 Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 24. Laudato Si’ week. Tuesday theme: Response to the cry of the poor. Reflect, share and act.   CAFOD Witness.                         An Easter pilgrimage in the diocese of Northampton brought parishioners from five churches together to contemplate the beauty of creation and the dangers of climate change.  “This pilgrimage was something we wanted to do to make a difference,” explains Alban MacDonald, who helped organise a fifty-mile walk through the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside.  “The climate change theme was spot on for us,” says Alban. “We need to think not just of ourselves right now, but what’s going to happen to future generations.”  

The pilgrimage took place as part of CAFOD’s One Climate, One World campaign, which is calling on politicians to work together to tackle climate change and support the transition to sustainable energy.   Tessa Wiseman, who took part in the pilgrimage, points out “We are all affected by a changing climate, whether here or overseas. People in countries such as Peru, Kenya, and Bangladesh are already feeling the effects and it’s the most vulnerable communities that are at risk.”

After each walk, the group sat down over well-earned tea and cake to reflect, using topics suggested by CAFOD’s postcard reflections. They signed action cards urging Britain’s political leaders to stop climate change pushing people deeper into poverty.  As Alban explains: “My message to political leaders is to take climate change seriously, and reflect carefully on what climate change is doing, not just to our own communities but really to the poorest communities in the world.”

Reflect, share, act. Scripture.   Jesus said, “I will send the counsellor and when he comes he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgement.   John 16: 7.   Pope Francis: “Love makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world” LS231.  In the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters. LS158. Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 25.  Laudato Si week Wednesday theme: Ecological economics Reflect, share and act. CAFOD witness.                             “The Lord gave me strength to swim.”In November 2013, one of the most powerful cyclones ever to make landfall hit the Philippines. During Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, the wind gusted up to 235km an hour, whipping up the sea and tearing over a million houses apart. 

Edzil was out at sea in a fishing boat when Typhoon Haiyan struck. “There were big waves,” remembers the young fisherman from Leyte Island. “The boat rocked and went over. I held onto anything I could. I swam for three hours. The water felt freezing. My mind was confused. I thought I would die that day. I did not know how I could keep swimming. The Lord gave me the strength to swim.” 

Edzil didn’t know it then, but over 6,000 people lost their lives in the storm and 14 million were affected. “There were many people on our boat,” he says, “and all the others died. I was worried about my parents because I love them.”  Back on land, a 12-foot-high wall of fast-moving water obliterated everything in its path – including Edzil’s home. Luckily, his parents took refuge in a stronger house: “Thank God the house had a second floor” he says. “They were safe. There were many people there – tight like sardines.”

Following his extraordinary survival, Edzil has new plans: “I have a mission now – to look after my parents. I want to go back to school and become an engineer. I have a good brain, like Albert Einstein!”

He puts on a cheerful face, but his relationship with the sea has changed forever. “I don’t want to be a fisherman,” he says. “Our sea is not clean, it is dirty. There are dead people in it. When I look at the sea I can’t forget my memories of Typhoon Yolanda.”

Reflect, share, act. Scripture.  The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is her served by human hands as though he needed anything since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.   Acts. 17:25.   Pope Francis: Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. LS25. Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 26. Laudato Si week. Thursday theme: Adoption of sustainable lifestyles.   Reflect, share and act.  CAFOD WITNESS.Travelling the livesimply journey.   Brenda Underwood is livesimply co-ordinator at the Brentwood Cathedral parish of St Mary and St Helen’s. The parish was the first Cathedral in the UK to win this national award for living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with people in poverty. Brenda tells us her story: 

To be honest, the idea of becoming a livesimply parish was a little daunting at first. But nevertheless we took up the challenge and started to ponder about where this journey might take us. Engaging the parish community has to be the foundation of livesimply. Recognising this, we used the parish newsletter to inform everyone about the exciting possibility of becoming a livesimply parish. We invited parishioners to share their ideas.

Lots has happened since then. We now hold an annual ‘livesimply week’ where we take up a different challenge each day. This year included a walk, Mass and picnic, a prayer vigil, and a food bank collection.

The challenges people set themselves range from walking to church, to just making someone smile! We also did an environmental audit of the parish buildings and changed hundreds of light bulbs to low energy alternatives. We are applying to become a Fairtrade parish. Livesimply provides a real opportunity to pause for thought and to consider the impact of our actions and inactions.

We were delighted to be told that after months of hard work we had won the award! However, we know that the award is but a step along the way. They say that travel broadens the mind – certainly the livesimply journey has opened our eyes to the endless opportunities available for us all to make a difference.

Reflect, share, act. Scripture.  Paul found a Jew named Aquila and his wife Priscilla and he stayed with them and they worked for by trade they were tentmakers. And he argued in the synagogue every sabbath. When Silas and Timothy opposed him Paul said, ‘from now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:1-8   Pope Francis: We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalisation of indifference. LS52 Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 27 Laudato Si week. Friday theme: Ecological Education. Reflect, share, act and pray.   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. (LS 213)   How often do we say, “Energy, through fossil fuel or renewable sources, is the government’s problem, or Eskom’s, or the big banks to supply the money?  Have we considered the possibility of renewable energy at a local level?   Read Veronica’s story and discuss.   

CAFOD POWERPOINT PRESENTATION FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL AND FAMILIES.    See www.cafod.org.uk/education

VERONICA’S STORY about renewable energy in Kenya.   Veronica lives at home with her family in Kenya. Veronica’s father didn’t have the opportunity to go to school when he was young, so he wants her to succeed.  In the evening, Veronica helps her mother prepare a meal before studying for her exams. She wants to become a politician. Veronica’s hopes of finishing school were starting to become a distant dream.  Now she has hope because of the power of the sun.  Solar panels were fitted to her school, bringing light to her classroom. Now she can go to evening classes.  Veronica also now has a solar lamp at home. Through local, renewable energy, Veronica has the power to study and build a bright future for herself. Veronica says:  Now that we have the solar panels at school, I’ll be able to do the extra school work I need to. It’s important to have this time, as I have big exams coming up. School empowers me to achieve my plans for the future.”

Reflect, share, act. Scripture:   Jesus said, “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take away your joy from you.  John 16: 23.    Pope Francis:  We have the freedom to direct technology and put it at the service of a progress which is healthier, more human more social, more integral than the total technocratic paradigm. LS112  We have a sort of superdevelopment of a wasteful and consumerist kind which forms an unacceptable contrast with the ongoing situations of dehumanizing deprivation.    We are too slow in developing economic institutions and social initiatives which can give the poor regular access to basic resources. LS 109.   Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 28. Laudato Si week.   Saturday theme: Ecological Spirituality.  Festival at Assisi.  Reflect, share, act and pray.   Assisi will always be associated with St Francis, the 12th century saint, who Pope Francis continually uses as his patron and model for the eco-spirituality in his encyclicals, Laudato Si and social love in Fratelli Tutti.  Francis who was born and lived his short life and ministry in Assisi, which has become a centre for eco-spirituality and peace. Francis was no highly educated theologian and never became a priest.   He intensely experienced God’s love in the Incarnate and Crucified Jesus.   While travelling, preaching and teaching his growing community of friars and Claire’s community of sisters, Francis lived a life of ongoing conversion, humbly and in peace with every person and all creatures.  He came to see everything as his family, called the elements of creation by name as Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, also Brother wolf and Sister dove.  In his final years his love became so intense and he identified so closely with Jesus that he was gifted with the stigmata, the five wounds of Jesus on his body. His final days were filled with praise, joy and love.   His Canticle of the Creatures was composed during this time.   “Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun……………     Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve him with great humility.”    

Reflect, share and act. Scripture.  Jesus said to his disciples, “You will ask in my name and I do not say to you that I shall ask the Father for you for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed.John 16:23.   Pope Francis:  The created things of this world are not free of ownership. “for they are yours, O Lord, who love the living.” This is the basis of our conviction that as part of the universe called into being by one Father all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family. LS89.   Each creature has its own purpose.   The entire material universe speaks of God’s love and boundless affection. Soil, water, mountains, everything is a caress of God. LS84.    Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.

May 29.  Sunday Ascension. Living Laudato Si’ in our daily lives.   As he opened the Laudato Si week on 22nd so Pope Francis will also close the week with a gathering and a sending forth on the theme : Community resilience and empowerment.   This 7th goal of LS envisages a synodal journey of community engagement and participatory action at various levels. Actions could include promoting, advocacy and developing people’s campaigns, encouraging rootedness and a sense of belonging in local communities and neighbourhood ecosystems.  The LS Movement formed early on was recently followed by the more structured LS Action Platform with 7 goals and 7 sectors for implementation.  The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is offered by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, one of the key offices at the Vatican.  While essentially a Catholic initiative offered as a service to the universal Catholic Church it is also offered to “all men and women of goodwill” as has been done in recent papal documents. This is most appropriate at this time as all Christian churches enter a week of prayer for Christian unity, celebrated in the southern hemisphere between Ascension and Pentecost.    

Reflect, share and act. Scripture. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.  Eph 1:17-23.  Pope Francis: As Christians, we are called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbours on a global scale.” LS 9. Others drink from other sources. For us, Christians the wellspring of human dignity and fraternity is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From it there arises, for Christian thought and for the action of the Church, the primacy given to relationship, to the encounter with the sacred mystery of the other, to universal communion with the entire human family as a vocation of all. FT 277.   Pray the daily Laudato Si’ prayer.