As a way to inform how Catholics are called to care for the environment, the Human Concerns Social Justice Committee of St. Anselm Parish, Wayside, is sponsoring a series of monthly workshops on Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.”
Slated to begin Oct. 20, the series is designed to create awareness, generate discussion and elicit positive actions in response to the Holy Father’s encyclical calling for better care for the earth and each other, said committee member Monika Mazurczyk, one of the series’ facilitators.
Mazurczyk noted that the committee decided to launch the series as close as possible to Oct. 4, the day in which the universal Church commemorates the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The series would also be in acknowledgement of the Holy Father, who chose the name Francis when he was elected pontiff March 13, 2013.
For the first session on “Dialing Down The Heat” on Oct. 20, the day will begin with a brief explanation of the Catholic Climate Covenant program, which is composed of 14 national partners that guides the U.S. Church’s response to climate change by educating and giving public witness and offering resources. In addition there will be the viewing of a webinar by Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center; time for discussion, and a video showing tools and techniques on how to have a more open and productive conversation regarding climate issues.
At the conclusion of the first session, the participants will be given an action to implement. A link or printed form will be given to attendees to take home and complete a carbon footprint analysis. Participants will then be asked to bring the completed form to the next session along with at least one habit or item that they can commit to change in their household to reduce their carbon footprint.
With each 90-minute session of the series, Mazurczyk said the committee hopes that participants will recognize the connection between St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis; learn that climate change is already impacting communities around the world and that their stories can play an important role in cultivating common ground; understand the need to “dial down the heat” and find common ground when talking about climate change in an era of ongoing polarization, and have a greater knowledge about Laudato Si’.”
“We hope to build leadership on these issues in our faith communities and beyond in response to ‘Laudato Si’’’s moral call to care for creation and the poor and to enter into civil dialogue.,” Mazurczyk said. “We also hope to be able to answer why faith communities ought to lead in these discussions and recognize what the faith community brings to the table that is unique.”
There is no fee to attend the series, which runs from 2 to 4 p.m., and all materials and light refreshments will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring smartphones and laptops to the sessions. St. Anselm Parish is located at 1028 Wayside Road, Wayside.
For further information on the series, contact: Elizabeth Domigan, [email protected]; Carol Dunphy, [email protected]; Monica Grimaldi, [email protected] or Monika Mazurczyk, [email protected].[[In-content Ad]]