ASTON, PA – In May 2021, Pope Francis announced the international Laudato Si’ Action Platform as an urgent program for the entire Catholic Church and all people of good will. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and their companions in mission formally joined the action platform on December 8, 2021.
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform responds to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. The platform is a seven-year journey for advancing integral ecology by collaborating across seven sectors. These include families, dioceses and parishes, educational institutions, health-care institutions, organizations and groups, the economic sector, and religious congregations. All are called to work for the platform’s seven goals: response to the cry of the Earth, response to the cry of the poor, ecological economics, adoption of sustainable lifestyles, ecological education, ecological spirituality, and community resilience and empowerment.
For the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, participation in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform is integral to their Corporate Stand on Care for Creation (2017), “by which we commit to ecological education of ourselves and others leading to concrete actions both individual and communal” to care for the Earth. In embracing the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia join the entire Catholic community and all people of good will on a path of renewal and transformation.
The Care for Creation Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia is leading the congregation’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform programs and initiatives. In support of the Corporate Stand on Care for Creation, this committee has, for example, already participated in webinars with the Vatican, other U.S. religious congregations, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and the Catholic Climate Covenant. The committee has brought this information to the congregational leadership, which has now issued a statement dedicating the full congregation to committed involvement in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
During their first year of participation in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia will work together to develop a detailed action plan for the congregation. This plan will also encourage their sponsored and cosponsored ministries to join the movement. The congregation will engage individuals and groups at the congregational and local levels to do their part in caring for the Earth and its people—especially those who are most vulnerable—by embracing an eco-sustainable lifestyle and society.
With the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, Pope Francis is challenging all people everywhere to prepare a better tomorrow for future generations. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are responding to this challenge by taking to heart St. Francis’ words: “I have done what is mine to do. May Christ teach you what you are to do.”