THE STORY – We are today’s John the Baptist, spread the JOY!
There is Joy in the Presence of Jesus, artwork by Rebecca Brogan
As this week begins with Gaudete Sunday, I can’t help but contemplate how we, who are working to bring Laudato Si’ into our lives and society, mirror characters in the gospel about Saint John the Baptist.
Like the multitude who went out to be baptized by John, full of joyous anticipation for the coming of the Messiah, we ask what must we do to bring to bear the good fruit of repentance and welcome Jesus?
We are also like John the Baptist, voices crying out in the wilderness of our communities that a new day is dawning. Like John, we rejoice in knowing Christ is present in our world. We know the promise of His redeeming grace. We know with the Holy Spirit, He is still here, speaking eloquently to us through nature, through our fellow human beings, through the very depths of our own concerns and desires.
Our joy springs from knowing that we have enormous support from Pope Francis to continue spreading the message of an intricately interconnected world. He reminds us “The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” LS 13
Rejoice! Christ is with us!
Pope Francis, multiple branches of the Vatican and the Laudato Si’ Movement, are providing opportunities for us to engage together on the biggest issues of our day, and of our Church. All we need to do is say YES to the invitations extended to us. Trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us, be part of our every discussion and planning meeting, and bring us to meaningful action that will have impacts beyond what we can see ourselves.
A Laudato Si’ feature length documentary will be released in the springtime of 2022! Pope Francis, an active participant in the making of the movie, is present in dialogue with front-line champions from around the world, each facing the effects of our planetary crisis. From Brazil the voice of the Indigenous Peoples, from India the voice of youth, from Senegal the voice of the poor, and from America the voice of nature through a biodiversity specialist.
The film, being made by an Oscar, Emmy, and BAFTA winning team, is crafted to share the compelling message of the encyclical in a format for modern audiences. It will be distributed worldwide, free of charge, via YouTube Originals, and it is expected to reach tens of millions of viewers.
We encourage communities (parishes, secondary school classes, clubs and service groups etc.) to watch the film together, share ideas and develop a sense of commitment to take action. Be the first to get the latest news and plan to host a screening! Sign up at https://laudatosimovement.org/2021/09/15/pope-francis-laudato-si-the-focus-of-new-documentary-blog/ .
The Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit will launch in January, 2022! MLSM Canada, with our team of passionate writers, editors, translators and designers, are creating a resource that we hope you will feel inspired to take to your parish councils, diocesan finance committees, Catholic workplaces, schools, healthcare facilities, post secondary institutions, pension funds, and charitable foundations; anywhere people of faith have financial assets under management.
Following the discernment process of SEE, JUDGE, ACT we provide a virtual manual for faith-based institutions planning to align their investments with their mission, and particularly in light of global climate change. The toolkit addresses Canadian specific concerns by examining the role of investments in Canada’s energy sector and provides suggestions towards a faith-based response to challenges inherent with those investments.
The toolkit contains shareable videos and printable pdf documents you can use as starting points for conversations within your organization. It also provides a step-by-step discernment process to guide the necessary discussion around a new alignment of your investment strategy. This tool will prove invaluable to anyone participating in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
Dioceses across the country are now inviting our voices and ideas in the Synod for a Synodal Church. The Synod is about becoming a listening and learning Church, which finds truth not only in the teaching authority of Rome, but in the experiences of all the baptized: their joys, their griefs and anxieties (Gaudium et Spes , n. 1). We have this opportunity to speak up about Laudato Si’ and how it is made manifest in the life of our Church. Take the time to participate in parish or diocesan discussions.
Richard Shields has written a helpful article Synodality: Pope Francis’ invitation to be part of a Church that listens, learns, and teaches for the website Concerned Lay Catholics (CLC). If you have not received an invitation to participate, sign up with Concerned Lay Catholics . They will be providing resources to help us get connected. Avenues to send our thoughts directly to Rome will be made available. How wonderful that Pope Francis wants to hear from us! Bless our Bishops and all those who are helping us contribute to the listening and learning process.
The invitation to take up and use each of these instruments, given freely, are my sources of JOY this Advent season.
Have a very joyous Christmas. Yours in service with the Creator, for Creation
1) Ontario Regional Roundtables will begin in January! This will be our fourth online facilitated space for regional groups to make connections, build community and find support with Laudato Si’ Animators and other MLSM Canada members living in Ontario. We hope the Regional Roundtables will:
- provide space for building community and making connections to help overcome isolation;
- facilitate sharing of resources, successful practices, challenges and strategies;
- deepen ecological spirituality to sustain action and prevent burnout or discouragement.
More information about the first two Ontario Regional Roundtables, January 19th and March 30th and to sign up, please visit our registration page.
2) The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is active! The official launch in November, while subdued, heralds the beginning of a journey for participants. The journey starts by creating your own connection to the Platform, accessing your dashboard, and completing your first annual self assessment. The self assessment is a series of questions that helps you define where you are now, your starting place on the journey. The Platform will guide you through subsequent phases to develop your plan for the next six years.
The window of opportunity to become part of the first cohort of participants has been extended until April 2022. You can enroll through the Platform About Page.
3) Congratulations John Paul II Secondary School in London, Ontario, Canada’s first carbon neutral school! You can read about their wonderful achievement in this Catholic Register article. Geothermal heating, plus 2,700 carport solar panels installed throughout the parking lots of the school, provide 825 kWDC of power to a battery system that will heat, cool and provide electricity. Well done!
4) Archbishop Don Bolen’s Advent Homilies, focusing on Reconciliation, are a bright, guiding light.
5) The Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty, brainchild of Canadian Tzeporah Berman with Stand.earth in 2019, received widespread support at COP26. Today, it is carried by a diverse Steering Committee, an international support team, more than 750 organizations, 12 cities, over 2,500 scientists, Parliamentarians, youth, senior faith leaders, Indigenous movements, as well as 101 Nobel Laureates. It calls for the phase-out fossil fuels and the building of a globally just transition for every worker, community and country. You can endorse the Treaty here.