Laudato Si’ Action Platform
“I have done what was mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours to do.” St. Francis of Assisi
On December 8, 2021, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia formally committed to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform in support of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. Laudato Si’ presents a vision of integral ecology and calls on every human being to love, respect, and nurture the Earth as Sister and Mother, as our shared inheritance and home.
In May 2021, Pope Francis announced the Laudato Si’ Action Platform as an urgent initiative challenging the entire Catholic Church and world community to prepare a better tomorrow for future generations. The platform is a seven-year journey bringing together seven sectors— families, dioceses and parishes, educational institutions, health-care institutions, organizations and groups, the economic sector, and religious congregations. These sectors—all of us—are called to respond to the seven Laudato Si’ Action Platform 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.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia stand strongly in support of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ vision. In their 2017 Corporate Stand on Care for Creation, the sisters commit to ecological education for themselves and others leading to concrete individual and communal actions. Under the ongoing leadership of their Care for Creation Committee, the congregation has continued to respond to Laudato Si’ through education and action. Congregational leadership enthusiastically agreed with the committee’s recommendation that the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia formally join the Laudato Si’ Action Platform: “As Franciscans, how can we not?”
The Care for Creation Committee is now coordinating development of the congregation’s Laudato Si’ Action Plan. This plan will include engaging individuals at both the congregational and the local level to do their part in caring for the Earth and its people by embracing an eco-sustainable lifestyle and society. The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and their Companions in Mission, sponsored and cosponsored ministries, and coworkers and extended community will all play a part in moving toward deeper ecological transformation in care for our common home.
Care for our common home is deeply rooted in our Franciscan spirituality as indicated by our 1996 Constitution and 2008 Mission Statement “…we live as sister with one another, with the entire human family, and with all creation.” This critical time challenges us to be more aware and diligent in our efforts to safeguard and nourish all of creation.
In Laudato Si, a papal encyclical released in May 2015, Pope Francis describes the critical moment we share with the Earth community: This sister (Earth) now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods which God has endowed her…this is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor…” Laudato Si (2). Our desire this year is to educate ourselves and others on this encyclical and responding to it with all the resources of our congregation.