Lenten Reflection on Pope Francis’s Encyclical "Care for Our Common Home" (March 22, 2017)

In a gathering cosponsored by the Holy Name Society, the Rosary Society, Young Adult/Youth Group and Women's Small Christian Community Group, 32 parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle experienced a simple Lenten supper followed by a presentation by Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ. Sister is one of the 25 Ambassadors of the Catholic Bishops' Climate Covenant. Sr. Clark summarized Pope Francis' encyclical "On Care for Our Common Home." It is a wide-ranging document that does not just address "nature." Pope Francis asks us to look at all creation, including people, and address a crisis of mistreatment and poverty. It critiques out-of-control consumerism and consumption, destruction of the environment, and neglect of the poor and powerless. Sister's summary of the Pope's message included these points:

  1. he says nature and our society are showing very troubling symptoms;
  2. he says our faith has a lot to say about creation and the crisis we are experiencing;
  3. he urges us to look below the surface, at what is causing the problems;
  4. he says we need a new, alternative perspective to address the crisis; and
  5. he suggests a number of concrete steps we can take.