Upcoming Event: “Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home”
March 7th, 2018
By Mark Etling, Ph.D., Adult Spiritual Programs Coordinator, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, has been hailed as a new moment in the history of the Catholic Church’s social teaching. The encyclical calls us to care for the earth and all its resources, physical and human: “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development . . .” (#13).
The first step we must take to meet this challenge, the Holy Father wrote, is to engage each other, to share ideas and strategies: “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.” (#14)
Since its issuance in 2015, Laudato Si has stimulated considerable thought and action on the part of Catholics and others who are concerned about the environment and stewardship of the earth. In an effort to foster dialogue and action in response to the encyclical, the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows on Saturday, April 21 will host “Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home: Reflection and Action on Laudato Si.”
This event is the second in a series devoted to the study and implementation of Laudato Si. The day will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale Divinity School. Doctor Tucker collaborated for many years with eco-theologian and Earth scholar Fr. Thomas Berry. She also created, in collaboration with Brian Swimme, a multi-media project called Journey of the Universe.
The participants will then take part in a series of hands-on breakout sessions. Sister Cheryl Kemner, OSF and Nicole Heerlein of Franciscans for Earth will speak on “The Challenge of Technology and Simple Lifestyle.” Sister Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Director of La Vista Ecological Learning Center, will lead a session titled “Backyard Revolution.” Sister Connie Probst, OSF, Co-Director of the St. Anthony’s Food Pantry, will speak on “Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor.” Jamie Hasemeier of Holy Redeemer Parish in St. Louis, Missouri will offer several solutions to the often-heard question, “What Can My Parish and Family Do?”
The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m. It will be held in the Visitors Center at the Shrine, located at 442 S. De Mazenod Drive in Belleville, Illinois.
The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for students. For those who are able, a payment of $40 is suggested to cover the fee of a student who cannot afford to pay.
To register call 618-394-6270 or go online: www.snows.org/events-2/our-sacred-earth-our-common-home
“Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home: Reflection and Action on Laudato Si” is sponsored by the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, La Vista Ecological Learning Center, the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.