As we celebrate Earth Day and the upcoming third anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ (June 2015), we are renewed in our call to care for creation. The encyclical invites us as individuals, as institutions, and as a Church to care for creation and to reconcile our relationship with God, creation, and one another.
The Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference and the Ignatian Solidarity Network have created an Ecological Examen to aid each of us as individuals and institutions to pray, reflect, and discern action steps that respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to care for our common home. Reconciling God, Creation, and Humanity is a resource available in both digital and print forms that can help you to answer this call to ecological conversion. The Ecological Examen will also soon be available in Spanish.
With the entire Ignatian family, we invite you to embrace this challenge Pope Francis laid out in Laudato Si’.
Here are Steps You Can Take to Promote Ecological Justice:
Pray: Reflect on the call to care for creation by praying with the Ecological Examen. Consider adding regular intentions to the Prayers of the Faithful each week that reflect ecological needs present in your community, nationally, and around the world.
Embrace a Culture of Simplicity: We can all take steps to live more simply and to step away from a throwaway lifestyle as individuals and in our parish, school, and workplace communities. Here are a few ideas: bring a reusable coffee cup or water bottle; encourage use of washable dinnerware; recycle and compost food waste; take shorter showers or create a rain garden to conserve water; take public transportation; walk or bike; reduce printing and expenses by sharing electronically; use energy efficient appliances; and consider doing an energy audit.
Create an Ecological Justice Subcommittee: An Ecological Justice Subcommittee can help parish communities and individuals to live Laudato Si’ by encouraging ways to integrate regular prayer and reflection on Laudato Si’ into parish life via speakers, parish initiatives or faith-sharing groups.
Engage Your Sister Parish: If you have a sister parish, find out how climate change and environmental degradation impacts your sister parish. Consider ways to aid your sister parish and to connect their issues to those in your own community.
Advocate: Advocate for policies that promote ecological justice and stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable in your community and around the world who are disproportionately affected by the environmental crisis. Sign up for action alerts with the Ignatian Solidarity Network and with Jesuit Advocates.
This leaflet guides you through the different steps of the Eco-Examen.
The Eco-Examen was originally released last October on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. To read about how this resource came into being and about the two organisations who created it please see this article.
Jesuit Schools are also welcome to check out the Ecology in Jesuit Schools Resource Collection for inspiration on how to create and promote environmental awareness in your schools.