Conversation Gatherings on Laudato Si'

Thursdays, August 27, September 3, 10, & 17, 2015

6:30 - 8:00 pm


Join in dialogue with Laudato Sí, Pope Francis’s new encyclical on care for Earth, our common home.  Pope Francis invites dialogue, calls us to change our lifestyles, and stirs us into action to preserve a sustainable Earth.

Be among the first to talk about what a pope from the developing world asks of us in the developed world.

Joan Mitchell, CSJ, Ph.D., will lead the first three conversations with creative help from sponsoring groups, namely, Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality, the Acts of Chapter Committee, and the Earth Partners Working Group of the Justice Commission.  

August 27: 
Chapter One: What’s Happening to Our Common Home? (#17-61)
· Francis wants people to hear the cry of the Earth and the cry of people who are poor.  Among the threats to our common home, among its disrepairs—pollution, climate change, water demand exceeding supply, lost biodiversity, dirty rivers and oceans, threatened forests, unruly cities, technology replacing human encounter—what threats do you experience (#23-42)?  From what threats does our wealth insulate us?  What possible repairs excite you?
· Who should pay the vast ecological debt the industrial age has incurred? Or, how can the people of the world repair our home?
· Why does Francis think that consumerism outweighs population growth as a cause of climate change (#50)?  What do you think?
Chapter Two: The Gospel of Creation (#62-100)
· What insights resonate with you in the pope’s reflections on creation in scripture (#62-83)?
· What connections between ecological issues and Catholic social teaching does Francis make (#89-92)? 
· What is the universal destination of goods (#92-95)?  What steps can we take to live this out?
September 3:   
Chapter Three: The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis (#101-136)
· What can religion do to help human responsibility, values, and conscience keep pace with technological development and power?  What can religion do that the market and science can’t (#105-110)?
·  What can help us deepen our lives in a technological society (#112-113, 125-130)?  Why don’t we hear nature’s cry?
Chapter Four: Integral Ecology (#137-162).
·  What does Francis mean by integral ecology?  Bring quotations to our conversations that articulate his vision? 
For example:
         o   “We urgently need a humanism capable of bringing together the different fields of knowledge, including economics, in the service of a more integral and integrating vision (#141).
         o   “The disappearance of a culture can be as serious, or even more serious, than the disappearance of a species of plant or animal” (#145).
· What difference does it make to see our human selves as part of nature and constantly and interdependently interacting with all that is?
· How are culture and consumerism in conflict (#143-146)?
· How does the common good call us to solidarity and a preferential option for the poor?  How does the common good extend to future generations (#156-162)?
September 10
Chapter Five: Action (#163-201) How do we clean up our mess?
· What enforceable international agreements & global norms do you hope from the Paris 2015 conference (#171-174)?
·What international institutions seem necessary in our time when multinationals resist the governance of nations (#175)?
· What practical courses of action does Francis promote?  What do you promote (#176-181)?
· What questions must integral development ask?  Who consult (#185)?
· How can we safeguard the environment in the midst of market forces (#189-190)?
· How would you redefine progress in the light of the threats to our sustainable world (#194-195)?
September 17: 
Chapter Six: Ecological Education and Spirituality (#202-246)*
*Animator: Colleen Carpenter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, St. Catherine University Theology Department

1. What is a consumer lifestyle?  What can deepen identity beyond an accumulation of preferences in a pick-and-choose world?  What would a new lifestyle look like (203-205)?  What habits and daily actions does Francis promote (211)?
2. How is purchasing a moral act and not merely an economic act (206)?
3. How necessary is a leap to the transcendent to anchor ecological ethics (211)?
4. In environmental education what is the place of family, school, church, politics, beauty (213-215)? 
5. What is ecological conversion (216-221)?

Copies of the encyclical are available from Good Ground Press for $14.00 and online for free by typing in the title.

Download Laudato Si'.

Read Ilia Delio's response to Laudato Si'
Ilia will present at the Fall Soul Conference this November.



Joan Mitchell, CSJ, Ph.D. New Testament, Luther Seminary.  Joan is co-editor of Good Ground Press.


When: Thursdays, August 27, September 3, 10, & 17, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Cost: Free; please register