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! 

Climate Change is a Global Concern . . . what does this mean for the United States?

The Third National Climate Assessment, Climate Change Impacts in the United States was released in 2014. Authored by more than 240 scientific experts from around the country, the report is a comprehensive synthesis of observed and projected changes in U.S. climate and climate impacts. 

Information is summarized for the national
and regional scale as well as for a range of topics, such as:

The report affirms:

"Global climate is changing and this is apparent
across the United States
in a wide range of observations." 

 Explore how climate change
 is affecting the Southwest region HERE.


Here is the link to the Encyclical posted at the Vatican website:


"Praise be to You"

On Care for
Our Common Home

The Catholic Climate Covenant has posted a selection of quotes from the Encyclical arranged by topic at this link