Celebrating five years of Laudato Si'

11 May 2020

Diego watering plants with his mother in El Salvador

Diego watering plants with his mother in San Salvador.

In the five years since Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, millions of people have been inspired by its prophetic voice. In this, the first Laudato Si' week (16-24 May), we reflect on the messages it holds for us and how we can each be deepened by its call.

Pope Francis urges us to rethink our fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle, for our own sake and for the good of our earth. He illustrates the ways that our current model of progress, of economic growth above all, hurts the most vulnerable communities, the environment and leaves us all somehow poorer.

But it also fills us with hope. The encyclical echoes a song of joy and wonder for the gift of creation. The earth speaks of God’s boundless affection for us all, especially for our sisters and brothers living in poverty.

“When we can see God reflected in all that exists, our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and praise him in union with them.”

Laudato Si’ #87

CAFOD is inspired by many communities across the world who are living peacefully with the Earth. Lazaro Gutierrez is a school teacher in Nicaragua, who teaches the children to care for the environment. Lazaro says, “Let’s love our Mother Earth. Don’t let’s destroy it. And in so doing we will show our gratitude for all that God has given us.”

Pope Francis calls us to a new spirituality, to “live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously”. Instead of wanting to consume more and more, we are reminded that true happiness is found “in service, in contact with nature, in prayer”.

What you can do this Laudato Si' week

Here are our tips for living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with others this Laudato Si' week:

  • Go outside and appreciate the gift of creation. Pray for guidance to see how everything reveals God’s love. Notice. Breathe. Give thanks.
  • Pope Francis calls us to slow down and reflect. Build some stillness into your day, or even take a silent retreat at home.
  • Pope Francis says we are “united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage.” Continue to journey with Laudato Si’  throughout the year, revisiting its insights and teaching. Download Laudato Si' and see ideas for reflecting further on the encyclical.
  • As we witness the positive impact of lower emissions in the air we breathe, learn more about the climate crisis and what you can do.
  • In solidarity with our sisters and brothers around the world, unite against coronavirus by signing our petition to help developing countries cope with the pandemic.

Pray and reflect with us

Watch our Eucharistic Celebration from Salford Cathedral

Listen to CAFOD's Director of Advocacy Neil Thorns talking about how Laudato Si' inspires our work

Watch Bishop Mark O Toole, Bishop of Plymouth's reflection on the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si'

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