Laudato Si’ Week Events in Tucson
  June 12-19

June 12th to 19th  is “LAUDATO SI’ WEEK”
and communities around the world will be commemorating the one-year anniversary of release of Pope Francis’ encyclical “On Care for Our Common Home.”

 To learn what's going on around the world, visit the
  Global Catholic Climate Movement's 
where you will find many resources and can sign up for free online conferences that will cover five key sections of the encyclical.

 Here in TUCSON there are a number of events as follows:          

Sunday June 12:  HOUR OF PRAYER
An Hour of Prayer will take place  at Tucson's Benedictine Monastery 800 N Country Club Rd  from 2:00 - 3:00 pm on Sunday June 12.  You are invited to spend some silent time in prayer and reflect on passages from the encyclical in the cool and quiet of the monastery's beautiful church.

ONLINE PRAYER:  For those not able to attend the Prayer Hour in person, here are some resources to guide your prayer which you may do at a time you set aside today -- or any day this week:

  • A simple 2-page Quote Booklet for reflection during the Hour of Prayer is available HERE.  
  • To read or explore the Laudato Si' Encyclical yourself, go HERE  
  • An excellent Reader's Guide to Laudato Si' by Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ. is available HERE
  • Watch the beautifully filmed and thought-provoking film HOME (1.5 hrs)  available HERE and pray about its opening challenge: "Listen carefully to this extraordinary story, which is yours, and decide what you want to do about it."  (Note: For a shorter meditation, watch the final 17 minutes of the film beginning at ~1:15:30)

A visit to the ReCommunity Recycling Facility at 3780 E Ajo Way will take place on Tuesday June 14 from 11:30 am  - 1:30 pm.  The visit to this MRF (material recovery facility) will open our eyes to ways we can address what Pope Francis’ calls our “throwaway culture.” The ReCommunity Recycling Facility tour is open to adults and families with school-age children but space is limited and advance registration is required ( no later than noon Monday June 13th). To register to attend the ReCommunity tour, please email Katie Hirschboeck at:

Wednesday June 15th:
Time to Choose"
 a film that 
 explores the comprehensive scope of the climate change crisis and examines the power of solutions already available.  (NOTE:  This is not an "official "part of our sponsored Laudato Si' Week activities however the film is related to various issues addressed in the encyclical.) The film is being shown at  The Loft Cinema3233 E. Speedway @ 7:30 p.m  Cost: $9.50 general admission (a panel discussion with local experts will follow the screening)  Read about the film in the AZ Daily Star: 
Climate-change documentary 'Time to Choose' is urgent,hopeful plea

 Saturday June 18
June 18 marks the One-Year Anniversary of the release of Laudato Si'.   You are invited to commemorate it in a special way of your own design. Here are some ideas and suggestions:

  •  This Saturday we will experience record-breaking hot temperatures in Arizona!  Spending some time outdoors in this heat (please be safe) would be one way to grow in empathy and compassion for those around the world living in environments in which they have no means of escaping warming temperatures as climate change progresses. Pray in solidarity with them as you reflect on this challenge from Pope Francis in Chapter 1 of the Laudato Si':  

     . . .
    become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it. [Ch 1,19]
  • Alternatively (and more safely) you may spend some silent time in prayer in gratitude for the gift of Creation and in solidarity for the "Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor" inside  -- for example in the cool and quiet of the Benedictine Monastery's beautiful church at 800 N Country Club Rd.

    There is no set hour on this day for your Laudato Si' Prayer so do this whenever you can fit it in on this Father's Day weekend:

    Creation has  to do with God's loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance. . . . creation can only be understood as a gift from the outstretched hand of the Father of all and as a reality illuminated by the love which calls us together into universal communion.   [Ch 2,76]

    Every creature is thus the object of the Father's tenderness, which gives it its place in the world.
    [Ch 2, 77]
  • READ THE "BOOK OF NATURE": If you can get into the cooler temperatures of higher elevations, spend more time outdoors and truly appreciate God's gift of the "Book of Nature"

    God has written a precious book, "whose letters are the multitude of created things present in the universe." . . " [Ch 2, 85 - quoting St. Pope John Paul II]

    "From panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe.  It is also a continuing revelation of the divine"  [Ch 2, 85, quoting the Canadian Bishops Conference]
  • BE CREATIVE!!  Make a sketch, paint a picture, take a photograph, construct an art object, write a poem or short story, sing a song  . . do something that tells the story of an aspect of  Laudato Si' that speaks to you personally.  This is your act of creation to join with the wonders of God's creation!  Share it with someone 
    Given the complexity of the ecological crisis and its multiple causes, we need to realize that the solutions will not emerge from just one way of interpreting and transforming reality. Respect must also be shown for the various cultural riches of different peoples, their art and poetry, their interior life and spirituality. If we are truly concerned to develop an ecology capable of remedying the damage we have done, no branch of the sciences and no form of wisdom can be left out, and that includes religion and the language particular to it. [ Ch 2, 63]
  • ONLINE PRAYER:  For those not able to attend the Prayer Hour in person, here are some resources to guide your prayer which you may do at a time you set aside today -- or any day this week:
  • A simple 2-page Quote Booklet for reflection during the Hour of Prayer is available HERE.
  • To read or explore the Laudato Si' Encyclical yourself, go HERE 
  • An excellent Reader's Guide to Laudato Si' by Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ. is available HERE
  • Watch the beautifully filmed and thought-provoking film HOME (1.5 hrs)  available HERE and pray about its opening challenge: "Listen carefully to this extraordinary story, which is yours, and decide what you want to do about it."  (Note: For a shorter meditation, watch the final 17 minutes of the film beginning at ~1:15:30)
  • In these recorded webinar sessions, noted theologians, scientists, clergy, laypeople, and interfaith leaders from around the globe talk about what the Pope's encyclical has meant to them and how they think it has influenced dialogue throughout the world on care for creation.  The remarks by each of the panelists about Laudato Si' are short, clear and very moving.
    Catholic Climate Covenant: 
     The St. Francis PledgeGlobal Catholic Climate Movement:  Should We Take action?

Sunday June 19: PUBLIC TALK"
THE FRANCIS EFFECT: How the views of Americans -- and others -- shifted after the release of the Pope’s encyclical and visit to the U.S."
  To take place on Sunday June 19  from 1:30 - 3 pm at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish Activity Center Auditorium 1800 S Kolb Rd.   presented by Catholic Climate Ambassador Katie Hirschboeck   A Discussion after the talk on Deepening Our Roots and Branching Out”  will address ways we can work together as a community to deepen and broaden our response to the Pope’s call to ‘Care for Our Common Home.' 
We will close with prayer.
These events are sponsored by the Our Mother of Sorrows Care for Creation Initiative and all are invited.   The ReCommunity Recycling Facility tour is open to families with school-age children but space is limited and advance registration by noon on Monday June 13th is required.   To register for the ReCommunity tour, please email Katie at:

 To ask questions about any of the above, please email Katie Hirschboeck at: . 

Laudato Si’ "Praise be to You" -- Bishop Kicanas' Monday Memo

An excerpt from: Bishop Kicanas' Monday Memo:

Monday Memo

posted at 

Last week, Pope Francis released a much anticipated Encyclical on the environment, titled Laudato Si’ (the first Encyclical titled in Italian and not Latin). I will quote directly from the rich text of the document, because I believe it very clearly illustrates the essence of the Holy Father’s sentiments. Throughout the document Pope Francis speaks of a connection between the care of creation and the call to bring to every human person the dignity each deserves.

 "The Encyclical takes its name from the invocation of Saint Francis of Assisi, “Praise be to you, my Lord” which in the Canticle of the Creatures reminds us that the earth, our common home” is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us” (1).
We ourselves “are dust of the Earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters” (2). “This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her” (2). Her cry, united with that of the poor, stirs our conscience to “acknowledge our sins against creation” (8). Taking the words of the “beloved” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Pope reminds us: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity … by causing changes in its climate …; to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”(8).

These words outline very beautifully our relationship with our planet and its vast array of resources, bestowed on it by the Creator. These paragraphs also adeptly and boldly define how horribly we have treated this precious gift of God, our home, the garden.

The document is very detailed, as is the custom of most Encyclicals. Overall, it is wise to remember that the document is not a scientific treatise. Its goal is not to make a political statement, but the Holy Father speaks as a pastor from a moral perspective. The Encyclical re-emphasizes for us the age-old teachings of the Church grounded in the Word of God that call us to care for all of God’s creation; to gather and use resources wisely and with restraint and without exploitation for excessive personal gain, to preserve those resources and to share those resources with one another now, and to tend to safekeeping of the Earth and her treasures for the future.

Re-visiting the U.S. Bishops' plea . . . .

Like a dry, worn-out and waterless
my soul is thirsty for you.
 Psalm 63:1

In light of the Laudato Si' Encyclical just released,
it is very timely to revisit the landmark statement of
Now, more than a decade later . . .
their plea is more urgent than ever!