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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.

Lively discussions focused on Indigenous allyship, loss of diversity, renewable energy, fossil fuel reduction, naturalization, regenerative agriculture, and waterways and ocean protection.

Beautiful spring weather enticed us outdoors to witness the songbird migration, visit the shore of Lake Erie and stroll through a labyrinth in the heart of a Carolinian Forest on the spirituality centre’s land.  Sr. Jacquie and Br. Bill led us through the beautiful Jericho House property in contemplation of the myriad gifts of the Creator and how we connect physically and spiritually with those gifts.

Most agree the camaraderie and personal connections will sustain each participant long after the retreat’s completion.  Hope you can join us next year!

God Bless you and the wonderful work you do, and happy Laudato Si’ Week. 

oordinator, MLSM Canada 

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donation to MLSM Canada through the Faith & the Common Good Canada Helps page. Choose the third fund option in the drop-down menu. Thank you.

News, Events and Action

1. Laudato Si’ Week, an international celebration of the encyclical, begins May 21st. The Laudato Si’ Movement is showcasing a global panoply of events, webinars and activities on their website: https://laudatosiweek.org/events/ . Of special note are the Wednesday morning discussion, Fossil Fuels, Violence and the Climate Crisis, which will be live streamed on YouTube, the Owning our Christian History ~ With a particular focus on the Doctrine of Discovery discussion from Australia on Thursday, and a preview of the Laudato Si’ Movie on Friday.

  • St. Joseph Catholic Church, Port Moody, B.C. is hosting an in-person Care of Creation Workshop the evening of Saturday, May 28th.
  • Global activities include a mass with Pope Francis, opportunities for pray and contemplation in solidarity with communities around the world, ideas for local in person activities like “prayer stones”, children’s liturgy suggestions, planting trees or gardens, and an artivism workshop. Check out the extensive calendar of events.

 The Laudato Si’ Movement has published a free, downloadable Laudato Si’ Prayer Book bursting with beautiful prayers to add to your lexicon of prayers for Creation and all within it.

3. The Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit is featured in an EarthBeat article, Faced with bishops' inaction, Canadian woman develops eco-investment toolkit

4. The Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada sent a letter to MP Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, on Earth Day outlining their concerns over policy dissonance in the federal Emissions Reduction Plan.  Consider writing your own letter to Minister Guilbeault, modelled on this one.

5. The Vancouver School of Theology is hosting a 3-day interfaith conference, May 24th-26th, Religious Responses to Climate Change. Join in an expansive conversation led by 40+ scholars and activists from 12 different traditions, including a keynote address from Dr. Randy Woodley, and contributions from Seth Klein and Rev. Christine Boyle. The conference is available online, in-person, and hybrid formats. Recordings and online discussions available until June 30.

6. Mark Laudato Si’ week (or any week!) by taking a course with Norman Lévesque and his Creation Care School, offered through the Green Churches Network/ Églises vertes. This school is for Christians who want to get involved in environmental action and raising awareness in their own local church. 

Online courses include:

Cette école s'adresse aux chrétiens qui veulent s'impliquer dans l'action et la sensibilisation environnementale dans leur paroisse. Lorsqu'une communauté chrétienne commence à prendre soin de la Création, il arrive souvent que les jeunes s'impliquent et qu'elle reçoit une couverture médiatique positive.

Les cours en ligne :

 In Ontario we go to the polls to elect our next provincial government, June 2nd.  The Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign has a pre-election letter writing action to all incumbents and candidates urging them to support a 12 point climate action plan.  Consider using the template to send letters to your candidates. This campaign is endorsed by Faith & the Common Good.

8. The Canadian Theological Society’s Annual meeting will also feature the Remembering Trauma, Imagining Hope online conference partnered with the Irene and Doug Schmeiser Centre for Faith, Reason, Peace, and Justice, May 24 – 26, 2022. The conference addresses theological responses to Canada’s history of colonization, systemic racism, and ecological devastation. Register here.

9. Thinking ahead to Season of Creation? Begin the month with a retreat at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph. The Contemplative Activism Retreat, September 29 - October 2, aspires to deepen in retreatants both their commitment to work creatively for a better world and their capacity to sustain this work in wholesome, life-giving ways. Sharing practices of meditation, physical exercise, prayer, artistic expression and intellectual engagement, participants will fortify their ability to be contemplatives in action. Information and registration here.

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