News

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2 New Webinar Series this Fall

Join live sessions or watch the recordings
for these two new webinar series highlighting Laudato Si’ themes 

Old Mission Santa Barbara is hosting an exciting 3-part virtual speaker series, “Climate Change: Caring for Our Common Home.” Join the talks live on September 28, October 5 and October 12 or watch the recordings anytime. Be sure to register in order to receive the recording link.  

To learn more about the speakers and to register, please visit: https://www.santabarbaramission.org/speakerseries-climatechange

Confronting Environmental Racism with a Franciscan Heart / 4-part webinar series

Each online gathering includes viewing a short documentary and hearing from a speaker from one the “sacrifice zones” in the U.S. Join one or more Thursdays at 1pm Pacific: September 8, October 13, November 10, December 8 (final session is a discussion with climate activists).

To learn more, register and access recordings, please visit: https://franciscanaction.org/confronting-environmental-racism/

Presented by Franciscan Action Network, the Franciscan Federation and the Franciscan Friars (OFM) US-6 JPIC Working Group.

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Laudato Si’ Stories

Across the Saint Barbara Province, ministry sites continue taking action to care for our common home. Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on around the region. 

Are you taking action to care for our common home?

Whether you’re making small steps or working towards a big project, everything has an impact and we want to hear about it. Building community through storytelling is part of our Franciscan tradition. Help us highlight the creative ideas and good work going on in our Franciscan family.

Season of Creation 2022

Each year, the Season of Creation offers a special time for the world-wide Christian family to join together in celebration and action for our common home. Beginning on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and concluding on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Season of Creation is filled with opportunities for prayer, reflection, action and advocacy. Visit the official Season of Creation website to learn more about this year’s symbol of the burning bush and the theme of “Listen to the Voice of Creation.”

Our invitation to you this Season of Creation

Our invitation during this special time is to create your own Laudato Si’ Action Plan as you continue your “journey towards sustainability in the holistic spirit of integral ecology.” 

  1. Reflect on what you’re already doing. Chances are you’ve already taken some steps recently to care for creation. Take a self-assessment to find out how you’re already living out Laudato Si’ and gain some ideas of new steps you can take.
  2. Brainstorm action steps. 
  3. Create an Action Plan. Click here for a simple template you can use. 
  4. Share with us! We’d love to learn about your Laudato Si’ journey and find out how we can support you. Share your action plan with us and we’ll provide encouragement and offer check-ins to help you stay on track. This is also a great way to be part of our Franciscan community of people across the Western US that are also living Laudato Si’ with a Franciscan heart. Connect with us: connect@laudatosispirit.org

Other ways to participate

Community & Creation with Friars in Formation

Under the warm June sun with a cool ocean breeze, OFM friars in formation from across the country gathered for fellowship, education and fun over three days at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA. This year’s annual Jamboree gathering for postulants, novices, friars in temporary vows and their directors included an afternoon of experiencing the message of Laudato Si’. 

Laudato Si’ Spirit, invited by the Jamboree planning team, engaged with friars in an afternoon of reflection, activity, and prayer focused on integral ecology and hearing the cry of the earth and cry of the poor. Beginning with an overview of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, the afternoon first invited the friars to reflect on the past year in relation to the  7 Laudato Si’ Goals.  Friars paired up, found outdoor spaces for conversation, and completed an abbreviated self-assessment based on just one of the Laudato Si’ goals. Since reflecting on actions and activities over the past year can help in looking toward the future, the friars were encouraged to consider, “What is one action you would like to propose to your friary?”

Photos by Carlos Portillo

Gathering at a small tree grove on the Mission property, the friars were then invited to make a commitment to care for creation and to help plant fruit trees as a sign of that commitment. With each set of hands contributing, the friars planted three trees–apple, grapefruit, and avocado– that will each live on, adding to the variety and beauty of the land. 

The highlight of the afternoon was gathering among the pine trees for a basketweaving activity with Diania Caudell (Luiseño), a member of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. Diania, along with three other basketweaver aides, introduced the friars to the tradition of basketweaving as part of the rich Luiseño heritage and then guided the friars through making their own baskets. 

Due to the rarity of traditional materials and the complexity of the Luiseño technique, Diania taught the Cherokee style of weaving (with permission from the Cherokee Nation). As Diania shared, Luiseño Indians traditionally use plants native to the region such as deergrass, juncus and sumac for their weaving. However, these plants are becoming harder to find growing in nature and when found, often are contaminated with pesticides making them unsafe for weaving. Surely an example of the need to better care for creation! 

 

Photo by Linda Causee
Photos by Carlos Portillo

Concluding the afternoon with reflection and prayer, friars and weavers gathered together around the newly created baskets. Each basket unique, just like the hands that created it. Lifting every voice, each person contributed to the prayer by sharing a short reflection based on a word from the opening of Laudato Si’. The group was then blessed with a closing prayer from Mel Vernon, captain of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. A sacred ending to the special afternoon of honoring community and creation.

Photo by Linda Causee 

Laudato Si’ Week 2022

Join the global celebration of’ “Listening and Journeying Together” as we mark the 7-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. Laudato Si’ Week, sponsored by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and facilitated by Laudato Si’ Movement, is filled with opportunities to educate, reflect, pray and act on our relationship with all of creation.

Visit the official Laudato Si’ Week 2022 website for a list of events from around the world – workshops, seminars, interfaith dialogues, prayer gatherings, liturgies, film screenings, etc. Most are offered live online with recordings available to watch anytime.

Don’t miss the Laudato Si’ Festival with music, prayer and speakers from Assisi, Italy! Taking place at the Basilica of St. Francis, this international festival highlights eco-spirituality and art as a range of musicians bring the spirit of joy in creation to life.
When: Saturday May 28 at 12noon Pacific Time
Click here for the event page with livestream and recording info. 

Laudato Si’ Week 2022 officially closes with a prayer gathering from Brumadinho, Brazil, with testimonies of people affected by climate crisis. Join live or watch the recording for the closing presentation on Community resilience and empowerment as part of our Synodal Journey.
When: Sunday May 29 at 6am Pacific/9am Eastern
Click here for the event page with livestream and recording info. 

During this week of celebration, we’re highlighting just a few examples of the many new initiatives going on in our region.

Friars living at Old Mission Santa Barbara save food scraps and coffee grounds. The novices take them directly to the Huerta Garden where they are composted into rich soil. 

St. Francis Center in Los Angeles has begun providing more sustainable, compostable utensils for the staff. Instead of single use plastic, these utensils can be used, washed, and when no longer needed, can be composted in a garden. They’ve also become much more efficient with their ice machine. All the ice needed for the week is now made in one day so the machine can be turned off for the rest of the week. Jasmine Bravo, Executive Director, commented that the videos shared during Legacy Day really opened their eyes to how lots of little things can add up to making a big difference.

Have you started new activities or habits as part of your Laudato Si’ Action Plan? We’d love to hear about it! 

Click here and look for the “Connect with Us” box to share stories from your journey toward integral ecology.

Legacy Day: Celebrating a Franciscan Tradition of Caring for our Common Home

As Franciscans, responding to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” are among our strongest values. For the 3rd annual Legacy Day, ministries of the St. Barbara Province engaged in education, reflection, and action based on the Laudato Si’ Goals – with a focus on the intersection of caring for creation and having a preferential option for the poor. A province-wide celebration of the Franciscan movement alive in our ministries, Legacy Day is an opportunity for ministries across many miles to act as one community in caring for our common home in the spirit of integral ecology.

The day began with ministries gathering together virtually for prayer, reflections, and an educational video on climate change before engaging in different service projects. Each ministry designed and implemented a Laudato Si’ activity based on their unique context to meet the needs of their community. After service projects and lunch, the day concluded with a final virtual gathering where each site shared photos and learnings from their experiences together. From letter writing campaigns and park beautification, to planting fruit trees and creating hygiene kits for those in need, the projects reflect both our diverse Franciscan family and our shared value of caring for all of creation.

Read more about Legacy Day from participants at Old Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA and St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco, CA. 

Check out a sampling of photos and projects from our 2022 Legacy Day!
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Earth Day & Community Resilience Campaign 

Earth Day is April 22. Opportunities for action and advocacy all month long…and beyond!

A National Catholic Campaign for Climate Solutions: May 2-6

Encounter for Our Common Home is a national campaign that brings together Catholics across the country to urge our U.S. Senators to enact authentic solutions to the climate crisis. These encounters with our Senators will come from the foundation of our Catholic faith and in accordance with the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

Earth Day 2022 Resources

Community Connection: Introducing our Logo & Designer

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis highlights that what we often call the environment or nature isn’t a space or setting separate from ourselves but rather it is a relationship of which we are part. He reminds us that “everything is interconnected.” (138)

For artist and graphic designer Eusebio Cortez, seeing relationships and patterns in the visible world is the beginning of every creative project. “Nature already has perfect designs and the perfect color palette,” he says. “Just looking outside or taking a walk I can see the divine artwork of creation all around.” It’s this perspective, along with his graphic design skills, that made Eusebio the perfect fit to create the original logo for Laudato Si’ Spirit. 

“I designed the logo to really match the name of Laudato Si’ Spirit,” Eusebio reflects. “The images of a dove and an upturned hand communicate the idea of relationship between all of creation that is infused with the Holy Spirit.” As the colors of orange, yellow and green blend together, the different elements also transform one into the other. The dove is an image of peace, hope and our brother and sister animals with whom we share this common home. The hand, palm up in a gesture of care, represents humanity receiving the gift of creation as well as our responsibility to reach out in service. The subtle figure of a leaf links these elements together honoring the connection between everything and everyone in God’s creation. 

Eusebio adds that while “a key feature of this project was to complement the Laudato Si’ Action Platform website, the heart of the design is reflecting the connection between the cry of the earth and cry of the poor.” Through his small business, Creative Pallette Designs, Eusebio has worked with several Franciscan organizations, including the Franciscan School of Theology where he is earning a Master of Theological Studies. 

Lent 2022 Resources

Prayers, reflection guides, and suggested actions to enhance your Lenten journey in the light of Laudato Si’.

Stations of the Cross: Renew the Earth

  • Stations of the Cross prayer guide in English and Spanish
  • Walk with Jesus and those who have been displaced by the effects of climate change around the world.
  • Created by Jesuit Refugee Service

Laudato Si' Lent 2022

  • Resources and weekly themes, ecological way of the cross virtual events every Friday, Ecological Examen, and more
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • A program of Laudato Si’ Movement

Catholic Agency for Overseas Development

  • A library of Lenten reflections, prayers, family resources for Ash Wednesday through Easter.
  • Sign up for CAFOD’s Lent Calendar to receive daily email reflections to journey through Lent with our global family.

Catholic Climate Covenant

A library of Lenten resources and calendars for individuals and groups.

 

 

40 Days; 40 Ways

A Guide to a “Green Lent” created by Franciscan Action Network (FAN)

 

 

Franciscan Values Lenten Reflection Videos

Earth & Justice Freedom-Seder

Multifaith Passover Freedom-Seder for street and table
Created by The Shalom Center, 2022