To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis invites Catholic communities to participate in Laudato Si’ Week, from 16 to 24 May.

The weeklong program coincides with the fifth anniversary of the signing of Laudato Si’ and seeks to engage the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics in ambitious actions to protect our common home.

With about one-sixth of the world’s population organized in more than 220,000 parishes around the globe, the Catholic Church plays a unique and vital role in addressing the environmental crisis. 

In his video, Pope Francis reflects on environmental protection as a core theme of his papacy and encourages the faithful to participate in Laudato Si’ Week: . 

“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who will come after us, to children who are growing up? Motivated by this question, I would like to invite you to participate in Laudato Si’ Week from 16-24 May 2020.

“It is a global campaign on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ on the care of the common home.

“I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis, the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue.

“Let’s take care of creation, a gift of our good Creator God. Let’s celebrate Laudato Si’ Week together. May God bless you and do not forget to pray for me.” 

Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical sparked prayer and action to protect the environment in thousands of Catholic communities and gave new impetus to the Catholic movement to care for creation.

However, scientific analysis reveals that the pace of climate change and of mass extinctions continues to rise. To meet this challenge, more ambitious commitments are urgently needed. 

Against this backdrop, Pope Francis and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development encourage Catholic communities to reflect on their actions to date and to then take the next step.

Ambitious actions will vary from community to community; a suggested guide to the most impactful actions is available at the Laudato Si’ Week website

The Laudato Si’ anniversary coincides with other significant environmental events to take place later this year.

In November, at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, countries have to announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. The UN’s conference on biodiversity, during which the world will have the chance to set meaningful targets to protect creation, will take place in October. 

“Pope Francis is calling us to return to the core of who we are as Christians: people who love our neighbors as ourselves.

“The climate catastrophe is increasing the risk of hunger, sickness, and conflict for our most vulnerable neighbors.

“Every minute we spend warming the planet is a tragedy for the most vulnerable.

“Pope Francis is urgently calling us to act on the values of our faith, here and now,” said Tomás Insua, executive director of Global Catholic Climate Movement

A comprehensive toolkit ​and template promotional materials, can be found on the Laudato Si’ Week website.

Laudato Si’ Week is sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and facilitated by Global Catholic Climate Movement and Renova+ in collaboration with a cohort of Catholic partners.

(Source: Global Catholic Climate Movement)

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.