The COVID-19 pandemic has effected nearly everyone on earth. People have gotten sick. Countless others have lost their jobs. And too many have died. While fear and disease run rampant, people everywhere search desperately for a silver lining.
A stark contrast to the decline of human health is small improvements to the environment. Stay-at-home orders have meant fewer cars on the road, less air travel and industries have temporarily shut down. All of this has lead to less pollution soiling the air we breathe.
Although living this way is not sustainable for our economy and lifestyle, it shows that change is possible. Amid the devastation caused by the pandemic, we see God’s creation in other areas beginning to thrive. Our current situation is not ideal, but it offers a glimmer of hope.
“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” Such is the message from Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato si’: On Care for Our Common Home. In his second encyclical, the pope urges the faithful to be stewards of the earth – to care for our shared environment.
This week, May 16-24, marks Pope Francis’ fifth anniversary since signing the encyclical. It will include several online workshops. The Vatican Dicastery is sponsoring the week, which ends with a day of prayer on May 24. Visit www.laudatosiweek.org to learn more about the observance and how you can participate.
Below are some links to useful tools and resources to celebrate Laudato Si’ Week and care for God’s creations: