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Thinking Nature Positive (Part 3)

From left to right: Agnes Richard MLSM Canada, Anna Johnson Laudato Si’ Movement, Caroline Kiiru Laudato Si’ Movement, Amy Echeverria Co-Coordinator of the Vatican's Ecology Taskforce, Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert, Kim Gottfried Piché Archdiocese of Montréal, Joe Gunn MLSM Canada Advisory Circle, Louise Royer Archdiocese of Montréal, and Stone Iwaasa (not shown) share laughs.

 

In December, MLSM Canada’s Agnes Richard and Karen Van Loon were in Montréal during the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15. They reflect on their experiences at COP15 and parallel events in a 5-part blog series.

 

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Thinking Nature Positive (Part2)

Agnes Richard, Darlene O’ Leary, Caroline Kiiru and Anna Johnson at the Multi-Faith pavilion.
Part 2 of a blog series about 
COP15 on Biodiversity

In December, MLSM Canada’s Agnes Richard and Karen Van Loon were in Montréal during the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15. They reflect on their experiences at COP15 and parallel events in a 5-part blog series.

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Thinking Nature Positive

Part 1 of a blog series about 
COP15 on Biodiversity

In December, MLSM Canada’s Agnes Richard and Karen Van Loon were in Montréal during the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15. They reflect on their experiences at COP15 and parallel events in a 5-part blog series.

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The Story: Let me bring HOPE

All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements, and talents. LS 14

While reflecting on the gospel of Friday, November 18th, the same day the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) was scheduled to close, parallels became apparent.

“My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”
 LK 19:45-48

“My house shall be a house of prayer.”  Indigenous Peoples understand this in the beauty, abundance and inherent goodness of all creation, the fullness of the natural world all around us, of which we are a part. By embracing Laudato Si’ many more are reminded that our faith understands this too; that the great gift of a planet full of life is sacred, in all aspects, and we as part of it are sacred too.

“But you have made it a den of thieves.” If we consider Mother Earth as the home Jesus might also have been referring to, then today the powers that drive endless consumer culture and who thwart efforts to share the wealth gained from exploiting the jewels of creation at the expense of those who have lived harmoniously with it are modern day thieves on a global scale. The influence of oil and gas industry lobbyists, and their financial supporters were very visible at COP27 as they worked to weaken efforts to name the primary cause of the climate crisis. Those thieves are stealing the lives of so many creatures and humans now, and are stealing our collective futures for the sake of profit and greed.

The God who created the universe out of nothing can also intervene in this world and overcome every form of evil. Injustice is not invincible. LS 74

But people of faith are finding ways to steer us back to healthy relations with our planet home and with each other. We are finding ways to speak universal truths in the halls of power...

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Laudato Si’ Dialogues Newsletter Thirteenth Issue, August 2022

 The Story – Pope Francis in Canada:
A conversation with Métis Elder Jo Anne Young

 

First and foremost, Pope Francis’ visit to Canada was to ask for forgiveness for the harms done to Indigenous children in the Indian Residential Schools. Métis elder Jo Anne Young echoes the words of Métis National Council President, Cassidy Caron; “There is so much work ahead of us to seek out truth, justice and healing …Learning to love again after everything our people have gone through is tougher than learning to walk.  … These teachings of respect and of love must continue to guide us as we move forward …This week, and beyond, is about Survivors and supporting what they need to find peace in their lives.” 1

Jo Anne was impressed with the sincerity of Pope Francis. His words in Spanish, she said, signified more remorse than the English translations indicated. Many people, including Métis peers, agreed that they heard his sincerity. “We understand that he recognizes the abuse and assimilation that happened at Indian Residential Schools, and on his trip home to Rome, he agreed that genocide is the correct word to describe what happened.”

 

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Special Laudato Si’ Week Edition, May 2022

The Story: A Reflective Spring Eco-Getaway

Thirteen people participated in the Laudato Si’ Retreat at Jericho House Youth Leadership, Justice and Spirituality Centre, organized in collaboration with MLSM Canada.  The retreat’s theme came from one of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform Goals, the “Cry of the Earth” and offered a time for kindred spirits to explore how to engage with the ecological crisis and its challenges.  As part of their engagement with the Action Platform organizers at Jericho House will host similar retreats in the springtime for the next 6 years.

The participants, from different parts of Ontario and sectors of ministry, enjoyed the first MLSM Canada event to bring people together in person.  

Sean Moore joined us virtually for an excellent presentation, How the system Works … and How to Work the System: A Primer on the Art and Science of Public-Policy Advocacy, a module from his Advocacy School. An afternoon panel discussion including Robert Czerny, representing a group of Ottawa parishes who have formed several Laudato Si’ Action Committees, Iseult Hayden from Toronto parish St. Anselm’s Ecology Group, Roman Caruk speaking about Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board initiatives and Agnes Richard shared their knowledge of successful parish, community and school ecological programs.  On Saturday evening we had the chance to connect with Kevin Moynihan, producer of several Canadian films about Laudato Si’, for a discussion about his latest video, Laudato Si’ +7 The Greening of Faith Communities in Canada.

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Laudato Si’ Dialogues Newsletter -Twelfth Issue, April 2022

The Story –  EARTH DAY 2022 #InvestInOurPlanet

“We are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness. The problem is that we still lack the culture needed to confront this crisis.” -LS 5 

This year’s Earth Day (April 22nd) theme announces “now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet.” We can help build the culture Pope Francis speaks of by imagining how our resources can support the Creator’s plan.

What better time to open the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit , (en française) with a colleague, begin the journey to divest from fossil fuels and take steps to invest in our planet? 

Divestment from continually expanding fossil fuel companies, and reinvestment in enterprises that promote clean energy, just employment, transparent governance and the inclusion of Indigenous leadership are powerful actions that demonstrate integrated ecological justice.

 “This Toolkit is a wonderful resource for all faith communities keen to understand how to align their faith and investments with a shift away from harmful sectors such as fossil fuels.” 
-
Dr. Lorna Gold, president of the Laudato Si’ Movement Board of Directors.

In Laudato Si’ we are also prompted “to show special care for Indigenous communities and their cultural traditions … When they remain on their land, they themselves care for it best.” LS 146 Pope Francis gives us renewed inspiration to work towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through his personal apology, April 1, and his promise to come to Canada in the very near future.

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Celebrating Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit Launch

   
 

On Wednesday, February 23, 2022 MLSM Canada celebrated the virtual launch of the Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit, offered participants a quick tour and heard about its inclusion as a resource for a North American campaign. You can view the recording on the Faith & the Common Good YouTube channel, here.

The host pointed out methods to navigate the on-line Toolkit and some useful features that can be adopted by users as they begin conversations in their own contexts. Agnes was proud to share one of the short videos in the Toolkit, “Climate is a Common Good”. Other highlighted features included the Discernment Questions in the JUDGE section, and opportunities to apply investment considerations to Truth and Reconciliation calls to action.  In the ACT section she pointed out the many options for reinvestment, including how to evaluate financial market investments in energy and other sectors, non-financial market investment ideas, and examples of ecological investments made in communities, buildings and land use.

Karen Van Loon shared her knowledge of Scarboro Mission’s 2014 decisions around energy efficiency, an ecological financial policy and how these are tied to the order’s ecological mission statement.

 
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Laudato Si’ Dialogues Newsletter 11th Issue, February 2022

THE STORY – The Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit is READY TO USE

healthy-people-healthy-planet.jpg 

With this new guide, divestment needn’t be complicated. We’ve done your homework for you. Now it’s your turn!

 

The Toolkit signals the launch of a campaign to encourage faith based Canadian fossil fuel divestments in the forefront of global divestment announcements with the Laudato Si’ Movement this year.

As members of MLSM Canada we encourage you to register with the Toolkit website, in English or French. It’s an easy read, interspersed with graphics and videos that emphasize the strong connection between Catholic Social Teaching and a more intentional response to Care of Our Common Home.

The Climate is a Common Good: Social Teaching and Climate Change is an excellent example of new videos that can be used in early discussions with organizations and finance committees.

In January, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines made their most urgent appeal to date, for a strong Catholic response to the climate crisis.  

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Laudato Si’ Dialogues Newsletter Tenth Issue

THE STORY – We are today’s John the Baptist, spread the JOY!

healthy-people-healthy-planet.jpg 

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!

 

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