Sunday, October 4 was the feast day of St Francis of Assisi. The thirteenth-century Italian monk has been venerated for centuries as the patron saint of animals and ecology. Many of us have become much more aware of the beauty of all God’s creation since the election of the environmentally-conscious Pope Francis, who chose his Papal name in honour of St. Francis. In Laudato Si’, his recent encyclical on the environment, the Holy Father highlights the fact that all God’s creatures are part of the great family of the Church and that it is not just people who honour God, it is all of creation. Although Laudato Si’ focuses on a variety of environmental issues, the political atmosphere surrounding the document’s release brought climate change to the forefront. It is clear why young people are more concerned about the environment: their future is at stake. Luckily, Pope Francis has a lot to say about it. Pope Francis voices our moral responsibility to address environmental injustices in order to preserve our home for the future. He calls this “intergenerational solidarity.” “The global economic crises have made painfully obvious the detrimental effects of disregarding our common destiny, which cannot exclude those who come after us. We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity. Once we start to think about the kind of world we are leaving to future generations, we look at things differently; we realize that the world is a gift which we have freely received and must share with others.” This Week:  
  • Volunteer at a local pet shelter or donate some money to an animal charity.
  • Read the document on the environment Lautato Si’ which can be downloaded from the Vatican website.
  • Take action against Climate Change: Join a local environmental group and get involved in discussions and be part of the change.
  • Take the challenge to change.