Who We Are
Laudato Si’ Spirit: Collaboration for Action in the West is an initiative sponsored by the Saint Barbara Province for the Franciscan family in the Western U.S. Our mission is to animate the Franciscan family in the west to fully participate in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
We fulfill our mission through:
- Outreach to the Franciscan family (providing education and promotion of the Laudato Si Action’ Platform)
- Recruitment (encouraging and facilitating participation)
- Support (guiding through the registration and enrollment process)
- Accompaniment (supporting communities during the planning process and continued participation)
- Storytelling (sharing struggles and successes)
- Accountability (helping everyone follow through on their plan)
Read more about our work in “Laudato Si’ Spirit – 1 Year Together”
Laudato Si’ Spirit is a coordinated effort to inspire and equip entities to carry out meaningful responses to the “cry of the earth, cry of the poor.” This comprehensive approach is a unified and intentional process for recognizing, celebrating and encouraging integral ecological change. By providing structure and direct support for Franciscan entities, we honor their individuality and unique contexts without imposing standardized directives. We fulfill our mission through six main activities: outreach to the Franciscan family, recruitment, support, accompaniment, storytelling and accountability.
Outreach to the Franciscan family provides education and promotion of the Platform as an invitation to journey together towards integral ecology action in the vision of Laudato Si’. We educate our audience on the message of Laudato Si’, the seven Laudato Si’ goals, benefits of participating with the Platform and ways of taking action to care for our common home. Our widest-reaching form of outreach is our website and ever-growing library of resources. In addition, we offer customized presentations and workshops created to each audience.
Recruitment efforts animate participation in the Platform in a uniquely Franciscan way. We extend personal invitations to participate in ecological action steps and the ongoing multi-year journey. Participating in the vision of Laudato Si’ can be lived out with a formal action plan or through taking intentional action steps in response to the seven Laudato Si’ goals.
We offer direct support and a model of accompaniment to participants during each phase of their Laudato Si’ journey, especially as they enroll with the Platform. Participants can connect with the Laudato Si’ Spirit program coordinator through a variety of means, including email, phone, Zoom and in-person meetings as logistically possible. Entities have direct lines to support and are not alone as they navigate participation in the international Platform initiative.
Storytelling is a means of creating community as we share successes and struggles along our Laudato Si’ journeys. We gather stories about the good work going on around the region and share them across our website and newsletter formats. Highlighting participants’ activities shows that their efforts are meaningful and impactful, which in turn inspires continued action. When groups communicate their experiences of taking ecological action, they recognize more clearly their own progress while also providing encouragement to others.
Providing accountability helps participants follow through on their action plans. This structure provides channels to track progress and adjust plans as needed. We collaborate with groups at all phases of their Laudato Si’ journeys, including reflection, developing goals, measuring outcomes and celebrating progress.
Laudato Si’ Spirit currently has two main branches of leadership: Staff personnel, consisting of a Chair and a Program Coordinator, are dedicated to engaging with the Platform and our Franciscan audience. The Guidance Council informs the work of the staff and serves to connect with new partners.
Coordinated support for entities is tailored to their contexts, reflective of a shared Franciscan perspective, and informed by up-to-date knowledge of the evolving Platform. Laudato Si’ Spirit leadership and program content is a visible presence of the Franciscan participation in Pope Francis’ initiative.
The Saint Barbara Province of Franciscan Friars has created Laudato Si’ Spirit as a way to guide participation in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform and support implementation of Laudato Si’ Action Plans in our entities. We are a collaboration of Franciscans in the Western United States working in tandem with the US-6 Laudato Si’ Action Platform Team.
Read the full Statement of Commitment to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform released by the Provincial Ministers of six OFM provinces in the United States.