What is Laudato Si Week? What is special about this week?

Laudato Si’ Week honours the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical “on care for our common home.” This week’s theme is “everything is connected” where between the 16th and 24th of May 2020, a number of events will are planned all over the world on the invitation of Pope Francis to reflect and take action throughout this special week.

We are living through history-shaping events and people everywhere are crying for hope.  Our faith is urgently needed to light the way and Laudato Si can serve as an eye opener, teaching us how to face these circumstances to be able to build a better world together.  Pope Francis invites us to come together, united in solidarity, to draw on the beautiful clarity of this encyclical to construct a more sustainable future. 

This year is also the deadline for countries to announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, while the UN will be also holding its conference on biodiversity, in which humanity will have the opportunity to set meaningful targets to protect the places and species that sustain all life. 

But how does this encyclical feature in all this?

The Laudato Si’ encyclical is a summons to ALL Humanity, irrespective of one’s beliefs.  It highlights the fact that our planet is in peril, being a threat to all life on earth, especially the most vulnerable.  It does not just discuss climate change and integral ecology, but rather calls for a change in everyone’s lifestyle; a lifestyle many times based on selfishness and greed. It calls for respect for the environment and a sense of care and responsibility towards our common home, in a sense of altruism and generosity.  The lessons of the encyclical are particularly relevant in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought many parts of the world to a halt. Laudato Si’ offers a vision which leaves no one behind.

We humans are in no way above nature, while if we disregard our environment we will be disregarding ourselves too.  The world is interconnected economically, especially through technology, which has its positive aspect to it, but we need not forget that humanity is an essential protagonist in all of this.  The encyclical questions whether the experienced economic growth is of a sustainable nature, it questions why there is still poverty, and how can politics be influenced towards integral development.

Let us use this week to bring up and discuss the relevance of these topics within our lives and spaces. Whilst also suggesting ways and means that can be adopted to ensure a prosperous life by treating our common home with the love and respect that it deserves. This openness for discussion can lead to a “bold revolution” as described by Pope Francis, which can be attained through the uptaking of changes in one own’s life, while encouraging similar behaviour in communities and groups to which we belong.

We hope that this week will lead us to a transformation, as we grow through the crisis of the current moment by praying, reflecting, and preparing together for a better world, both for us and the future generations.  

More details here: https://laudatosiweek.org/activities/ Since many of the activities will be happening online, one can participate in events all over the world.

You can read the encyclical Laudato Si’ here: http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html