Living Out “Integral Ecology” as Minnesota Catholics
A great cultural, spiritual, and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.
Pope Francis, Laudato si’, 202
Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato si’: on care for our common home, offers a comprehensive vision of the challenges we face and how to address them. Building on the work of his predecessors, Pope Francis proposes a refreshing and holistic way of looking at our relationships with the earth, one another, and the Creator—one that promotes the well-being of the natural environment while doing justice to the human persons who inhabit it—and encourages us to remember that a good and generous God creates all things. He calls this new approach “integral ecology.”
In Minnesota, Our Common Home, we explore the key principles discussed in the encyclical and propose how we might translate them into our present situation as Minnesotans. Laudato si’, which some assume is focused only on the environment, also applies to many other aspects of our life. Some of the ideas presented here may be new or challenging, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
As Pope Francis repeats in Laudato si’, everything is connected. As Catholics, we believe that even things that at first seem totally unrelated are, in fact, intricately woven together in God’s providential design. This is why the pope’s call for integral ecology is so remarkable. It is an affirmation that we are happiest when our lives are unified, not compartmentalized, when we allow the truths we believe to shape all aspects of our lives, not just some of them. We cannot have a true ecology while human society deteriorates, just as we cannot build up the common good while destroying our common home.
Order your copies of Minnesota, Our Common Home today to learn more about how Laudato si’ applies to each of our lives and how to integrate these teachings into our lives as better stewards of all of creation. We encourage parishes to make use of the full document English or in Spanish, or the small group study guide (includes the full document), and the ecological examen as resources for parishioners.