Laudato Sí, On Care for Our Common Home

Laudato Sí, On Care for Our Common Home

On the Solemnity of Pentecost 2015, Pope Francis issued to all of us an Encyclical Letter Laudato Sí, On Care for Our Common Home. People throughout the world have recognized this letter as a beautiful yet brutally honest description of the relationship we are to have with other humans and with our environment, and how we have fallen short in that relationship. Francis speaks of our interconnectedness and our need to recognize and nurture our connection with each other and all God’s creation. He illustrates the destructive impact when we choose to do otherwise and he also offers a hope-filled challenge to change. Francis presents us with a message of possibilities.

Great efforts have been made globally to keep this message alive and find ways to enflesh this “care for our common home” wherever we are. One expression of this initiative has been the formation of groups such as Laudato Sí Movement, Catholics for Our Common Home, ( and the Laudato Sí Action Platform ( 

The purpose of groups such as these is to share the message of Laudato Sí and to assist people in achieving real and lasting solutions right where they are, locally, as they connect with others around the world. 

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie have been engaged in caring for the earth. Our Benedictine tradition is grounded in reverence for all God’s creation. Individual sisters have an awareness of environmental concerns and express this in numerous ways. The community as a whole has committed itself to fostering a deeper understanding of the issues and needs with a commitment to action and lifestyle changes.

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie adopted the following as a Corporate Commitment: “To be a healing presence and a prophetic witness for peace and justice by actively addressing the climate crises and the rights of women and children.” 

The community is using the following “guiding principle” in its communal life and decision making: “Engage with renewed urgency to reverse climate change and foster care for the earth and all creatures through behavior change and through our actions.” 

Recently a local Laudato Sí Action Platform Committee has been formed by the Erie Benedictines. This group of sisters and oblates will work in conjunction with the international Platform initiative to make known the message of the encyclical here, in our own place. Current committee members are: Sisters Judith Trambley, Marian Wehler, and Dorothy Stoner; Oblates Marlene Trambley, Sheila McLaughlin, Kathleen Pae, and Joanne Cahill. 

Presently, the committee has two offerings for you.

First, an invitation:
In celebration of the 8th anniversary of Laudato Sí, On Care for Our Common Home, May 21-28, 2023 has been designated as Laudato Sí Week. The theme is Hope for the Earth. Hope for Humanity. Our focus is viewing the film, “The Letter”

The Laudato Sí Action Platform writes: “Laudato Sí Week 2023 will be celebrated May 21-28, to mark the 8th anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on care for creation. This global celebration will unite Catholics to rejoice in the progress we have made in bringing Laudato Sí to life, and show how the protagonists of “The Letter” are already doing so.”

The Letter is a film that tells the story of the encyclical and the power of humanity to stop the ecological crisis. It features voices of those most impacted by the climate crises – youth, indigenous, poor, and nature. It is a powerful yet enjoyable 80-minute feature film. (Found at

We invite you to take some time during Laudato Sí Week to watch the movie. Perhaps watch it with some friends and family members. If you have already seen it, you know it’s well worth watching again.

Second, every month in Good Zeal Zine and on our website the Erie Benedictine Laudato Sí Platform Committee will share with you something from the encyclical, reflections on it, applications flowing from it that will keep it alive for us – calling us to action.