Laudato Si’ Action Plan
In the five years since Laudato Si’ was released, many dioceses, parishes, schools, religious communities and families have embraced the call of integral ecology so that the earth is protected for future generations. However, much work is still needed. For the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’, the Holy See’s Dicastery (Office) for Promoting Integral Human Development created a special anniversary year from May 24, 2020 to May 24, 2021 to promote a wider understanding and implementation of Laudato Si’.
As we conclude this special anniversary year, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington is releasing a Laudato Si’ Action Plan. The Archdiocese of Washington embraces the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ to work toward an integral ecology that is reflected in our personal lives and in the life of our parishes and Catholic schools.
“This Action Plan is for all of us! We are all called to protect our common home according to our ability and means. This Action Plan contains small and big ways for us to exercise stewardship over God’s creation. I invite each of you to study this Action Plan and be challenged to protect and restore our fragile Earth and our natural resources.”
Click here to read the full text of Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory’s opening letter to the Laudato Si’ Action Plan.
Seven markers for measuring the implementation of Laudato Si’
To help individuals and communities become more sustainable, the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development names seven markers that help to measure the implementation of Laudato Si’. These markers are used in our Action Plan as a way to promote integral ecology in Laudato Si’s implementation here in our own archdiocese.
- Response to the Cry of the Earth: greater use of clean renewable energy and reduction of fossil fuels in order to achieve carbon neutrality efforts to protect and promote biodiversity guaranteeing access to clean water for all, etc.
- Response to the Cry of the Poor: defense of human life from conception to death and all forms of life on Earth, with special attention to vulnerable groups such as indigenous communities, migrant children at risk through slavery, etc.
- Ecological Economics: sustainable production, Fair Trade, ethical consumption, ethical investments, divestment from fossil fuels and any economic activity harmful to the planet and the people, investment in renewable energy, etc.
- Adoption of Simple Lifestyle: sobriety [intense focus] in the use of resources and energy, avoid single-use plastic, adopt a more plant-based diet and reduce meat consumption, greater use of public transport and avoid polluting modes of transportation, etc.
- Ecological Education: re-think and re-design educational curricula and educational institution reform in the spirit of integral ecology to create ecological awareness and action, promoting the ecological vocation of young people, teachers and leaders of education, etc.
- Ecological Spirituality: recover a religious vision of God’s creation, encourage greater contact with the natural world in a spirit of wonder, praise, joy, and gratitude, promote creation- centered liturgical celebrations, develop catechesis prayer, retreats, formation, etc.
- Emphasis on Community Involvement and Participatory Action: to care for creation at the local, regional, national and international levels (promote advocacy and people’s campaigns, encourage rootedness in local territory and neighborhood ecosystems, etc.)
The Laudato Si’ Action Plan focuses on how the Dicastery’s seven markers, identified above, can be implemented in the archdiocese through our archdiocesan offices, parishes, schools and our families. Each section of the Action Plan is divided by a marker and contains several options that parishes, schools, families and others can begin to implement in order to become better stewards of God’s creation, help reverse climate change, and work towards sustainability as proclaimed in Laudato Si’.
Catechetical and Liturgical Resources
Laudato Si’ Discussion Guide from the USCCB: This guide includes materials for prayer, reflection and discussion, as well as ideas to help Catholics respond to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’.
Resources for liturgy, preaching and taking action from the USCCB: This guide includes liturgical aids; scripture, prayer and music resources; materials for preaching; and helpful quotes.