Submitted by Dave Babcock
As we gradually climb out of this coronavirus pandemic during this Easter season of renewal, our diocesan Care for our Common Home (Laudato Si’) Task Force is offering opportunities for all of us to better care for God’s Earth.
Each of us is encouraged to commit to learning how we can better care for God’s Earth. At the same time, let us consider two positive outcomes that we saw during this pandemic: reducing our human “footprint,” and having more time to experience nature’s beauty that God graciously and continuously provides. Consider your personal and community use of natural resources and your own appreciation of God’s beauty through the Earth.
Our human “footprint” is the extent that we use and consume natural, God-given resources including land, water, soil, wood, minerals, and oil. The more we can reduce our use and consumption of natural resources, the more we preserve and protect them. Fortunately, natural resources are renewable, but their renewal times vary. Overuse leads to challenges that need to be addressed.
God provides us with beauty through nature — beaches, sunrises, sunsets, forests, streams, hills, and mountains, and much more! How would we thrive without nature’s beauty? These gifts from God need to be protected and preserved. The Earth is the Lord’s as Psalm 24 tells us!
One exciting opportunity to learn more about caring for God’s Earth is coming up soon. Our diocesan task force has been working for many months with a group from the Diocese of Ogdensburg to plan a three-evening virtual convening on May 25-27 titled, “Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future” based on Pope Francis’ 2020 book of the same title. The purpose of the program is to gather with hope to help us as individuals and as communities to learn from God’s Earth how to be more sustainable and to move significantly forward with practical solutions to promote God’s beautiful, sustainable world.
On Tuesday evening, May 25, the theme will be “A Time to See.” On Wednesday evening, May 26, the theme will be “A Time to Choose,” with Bishop Douglas J. Lucia leading prayer. And on Thursday evening, May 27, the theme will be “A Time to Act.” Prayer, speakers, storytelling, and discussions will be included in this convening. Come for all three evenings or come for one or two.
More information about this exciting opportunity, including registration, will be available very soon. In the meantime, go to syracusediocese.org and click on “Being Catholic,” then “Pope Francis,” then “Laudato Si’.”
Dave Babcock is the Diocese of Syracuse Laudato Si’ Chairperson.