News Archives » Laudato Si
OMI LaCombe: Statement on Water and Treaty Rights Crafted at Fall Symposium November 4th, 2016
A collective statement about water and treaty rights — in the context of Laudato Si’s call to care for our common home and for each other — was crafted Oct. 22 during a daylong symposium at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.
Entitled “Our Common Home: as long as the rivers flow,” the symposium was presented by OMI Lacombe Canada’s Office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, working in collaboration with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, the Archdiocese of Regina, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, St. Thomas More College, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, and Queen’s House of Retreat and Renewal.
Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI Speaks on Faith & Sustainable Development at 2016 World Mining Congress October 25th, 2016
The World Mining Congress is an international event that takes place every three years. It is led by a secretariat and affiliated with the United Nations. This year’s event took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from October 18 – 21. The event aims to promote and support, both technically and scientifically, the cooperation for the national and international development of mineral areas and resources; implement a global information network concerning mineral science, technology, economy, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.
Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, spoke on the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) panel, Why Partnering For Development is the Future of Mining.
The panel explored the social, economic and environmental dimensions that are so vital for a vibrant mining industry and a future that provides for an equitable distribution of benefits to all stakeholders.
Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI: Comments at World Mining Congress Rio, October 20th 2016
The church’s engagement with the mining sector and specifically with the Development Partner Initiative was initiated and motivated by three different factors.
- We have been blessed with a charismatic and disruptive pope who is responsible for the preparation of the encyclical Laudato Sí where we are presented with an inspiring vision of the interdependence and inter-relatedness that exists between all living beings and our common home, planet earth that builds on the teaching of his predecessors and of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). We are also called to task by Pope Francis for the ways in which we have failed to care for, cultivate and appreciate the gift of the natural world and instead mistreated the planet and failed as a consequence in our inter-generational responsibility to our children’s children.
- There are chapels and churches and houses of worship scattered across the world and especially in the remote regions where many of the mines and other desirable natural resources like oil, gas and timber are located. Faith leaders at different levels have for years been hearing from many of the people that live in these regions and many of the stories that they tell about their experiences of mining are not very positive. Many of the contributions that the industry has made to progress and development have been lost.
- The churches own and manage assets to support their various initiatives and they are shareholders in many companies that are active in the mining sector. They want to make those investments in industries and companies that are responsible and make a constructive contribution to the communities and societies where they operate. They also want to avoid investing in corporations that have a poor record on protecting the environment, in respecting and promoting human rights and in fulfilling their social license to operate.
Three themes that are central to the mission of the church and of most faith traditions where the mission of the faith traditions and the mining industry intersect are promoting sustainable development, caring for our common home and protecting human rights.
- Promoting development has been on the agenda of the church for centuries and has been specifically highlighted by global institutions like the United Nations from the beginning. In recent decades the much debated adjective “sustainable” has been added to the conversation as the accomplishments and the failures of various development projects and programs have been critiqued and evaluated. A significant intervention into the development debate was made by Pope Paul VI in 1967 the encyclical Populorum Progressio when he called for the promotion of “integral human development” and sought to include much more than having more or simply measuring development in purely economic terms. The mining industry has often been a part of many development initiatives through their contributions to local communities especially in regions surrounding their operating sites and in communities that are impacted by the operations of their supply chain.
- In his encyclical Laudato Sí, Pope Francis has called all of us to care for our common home, Mother Earth that he points out has been critically damaged by much of human activity especially in the industrial age. He is quick to point out that there is no quick solution to the ecological crisis that we face but that each of us individuals and communities, institutions and organizations, the public and the private sector have a responsibility and a role to play in reversing these trends.
- The protection and promotion of human rights and human dignity are at the center of the church’s mission and enshrined in international law. They are more and more being encoded in legislation and being voluntarily embraced by different actors in the business community and particularly by stakeholders and shareholders in publicly traded corporations. Faith institutions and socially responsible institutions and individual investors that are working diligently to align the ways in which they manage these assets with their faith traditions and with their values are using this same lens to choose the companies and the industry sectors that they want to invest in.
In the Days of Reflection that were convened at the Vatican and at Lambeth palace, in the Days of Courageous conversation that were convened in Cape town and in the other convenings that have brought together faith and industry leaders, civil society and representatives of local communities, we have a model that can help to address some of the challenges that are faced by local communities, industry and those who want to support sustainable development. The commitment to care for and cultivate and protect our common home must be our number one priority. We cannot rest until we have found the avenues and the technology to do this and at the same time use the multiple and rich resources that are before us to support human habitation on the planet.
Saint Francis of Assisi: An Inspiration to Care for God’s Creation October 4th, 2016
Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter Laudato Si’ opens with this line:
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
Register Now for LaVista’s Fall Earth Literacy Program! September 9th, 2016
Exploring the Sacred Universe Earth Literacy Program in Godfrey, IL
Dates: Fri., Oct.19 beginning at 6:00 pm – Sun., Oct. 23, ending at 1:00 pm
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home has brought new life to this classic program as readers look for ways to deepen their relationship with and responsibility for our common home. That is what we offer during these days of interactive community learning. For the second year we are offering a shortened version of our “Exploring the Sacred Universe” Earth Literacy Program.
Participants will be joined by Oblate Novices, young men from several countries currently studying at La Vista. Last year’s very rich experience during beautiful fall days encouraged us to make this an annual event.
Activities will include sacred rituals, journaling, a field trip, dialogue, cooking and gardening. Presenters will include:
Norman Comtois, OMI
Sharon Zayac, OP
Maxine Pohlman, SSND
And other local bioregional specialists
For a detailed description and registration information download the brochure or visit us online at www.lavistaelc.org. You can also call LaVista at: 618-466-5004.
Program cost: $350 (includes lodging and meals). A $50 nonrefundable deposit is due at registration with the balance due upon arrival.
Celebrating a Worldwide Season of Creation September 1st, 2016
La Vista Ecological Learning Center invites you to participate in the
Worldwide Season of Creation
September 1 – October 4, 2016
Last year Pope Francis designated September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, joining the Orthodox Church which has been celebrating it since 1989. The day has now been extended by some groups to be a month-long Season of Creation, ending on October 4 (Feast of St. Francis).
Speaking to the faithful on Sunday, August 28th, 2016, Pope Francis said, “This coming Thursday, September 1st, we will mark the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and with other Churches,” describing the event as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.”
Announcing this special day in 2015, Pope Francis said Christians want to make their special contribution to safeguarding creation, but to do that they must rediscover the spiritual foundations of their approach to earthly realities, beginning with an acknowledgment that “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature,” but lived in communion with all worldly realities.
The ecological crisis, he said, is a summons “to a profound spiritual conversion” and to a way of life that clearly shows they are believers. Quoting his encyclical, he said, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
For Your Reflection
Pope Francis calls upon our Christian faith to care for nature and for the most vulnerable among us, honoring the three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor, and with Earth. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.
Selected Quotes from Laudato Si’
“Each community can take from the bounty of Earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect Earth and ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations. “(67)
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, and political and for the distribution of good. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries.” (25)
“Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems” (28)
“The spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore from the very heart of things, something new can emerge”. (80)
“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love and boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God. ” (84)
“Everything is interconnected, and genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.” (70)
“Our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God. “(119)
What touches your heart? What calls you to action?
(Thank you to Denise Turcotte, CSC, for calling us to deepen our relationship with our rare and precious planet.)
A year ago Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate joined the world in welcoming Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. As we observe the encyclical’s one-year anniversary, we invite you to join us in reflecting on a few of the document’s themes. Please use this resource with your church groups and ministries to further conversation and share your faith. (Theme descriptions and reflection questions adapted from US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Laudato Si resources, 2015)
EXCERPT FROM LAUDATO SI (Spanish translation and photo by Bro. Lester Antonio Zapata, OMI)
San Francisco, fiel a la Escritura, nos propone reconocer la naturaleza como un espléndido libro en el cual Dios nos habla y nos refleja algo de su hermosura y de su bondad: «A través de la grandeza y de la belleza de las criaturas, se conoce por analogía al autor» (Sb 13,5), y «su eterna potencia y divinidad se hacen visibles para la inteligencia a través de sus obras desde la creación del mundo» (Rm 1,20). Laudato Si # 12
Photo courtesy of Bro. Lester Antonio Zapata, OMI