Submitted by Ed Judge
On May 25, 26, and 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. each evening, the Dioceses of Syracuse and Ogdensburg will hold a virtual convening on caring for God’s creation inspired by Pope Francis’s 2020 book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future.
The goals are to increase awareness of our role as Catholics and global citizens and to inspire us all to make lifestyle changes and take concrete actions to better care for our common home and work toward a brighter future. All who care about God’s creation are invited and encouraged to attend via Zoom. Persons are encouraged to attend all three evenings, but attendance on one or two of the three evenings is workable. Each evening will feature prayer, music by Jeremy Bobak, reflections, presentations, and small-group discussions regarding our environment, our climate, and our future, to include the following:
Evening 1: A Time to See (Tuesday, May 25)
Prayer, music, and readings from Scripture and Let Us Dream.
An introductory reflection, “Our Unfolding Stories with God’s Creation.”
A talk by Dominic Wilkins, a doctoral student at Syracuse University, on “Catholic Creation Care Before Pope Francis” (teachings of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI and U.S. Catholic bishops). Wilkins is doing his doctoral thesis on the Catholic Church and the environment.
A short video: Faye Martin’s “Spring.” She is a photographer from the Ogdensburg Diocese.
Summary messages: We are interconnected with God and creation, and our actions matter.
A presentation with question and answer on A Time to See by Dr. Gerry Gacioch, Catholic Climate Ambassador.
What do we see now about God’s Earth? And how is our vision changing?
Evening 2: A Time to Choose (Wednesday, May 26)
Bishop Douglas J. Lucia will lead us in prayer.
A guided meditation led by Syracuse Diocesan seminarians Joe Ryan and James Buttner: Ecological Examen.
Summary messages: How human behavior affects climate change and our lifestyles impact future generations.
A presentation with question and answer on A Time to Choose by Dr. Curt Stager, Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks.
Reflection by Lori True, a national liturgical composer, “Sacred Be the Gift.”
Evening 3: A Time to Act (Thursday, May 27)
Bishop Terry R. LaValley from the Diocese of Ogdensburg will lead us in prayer.
A short video: “3 Seconds.”
A story will be shared on God and people working to restore Onondaga Lake.
A presentation on A Time to Act by Gina Fiorile, a young adult from Saranac Lake, emphasizing impacts on young people and actions we can take.
Summary messages: Climate Solutions 101, Vatican seven-year plan, challenges, and visions for a better future.
Short talk by Jose Aguto of Catholic Climate Covenant on environmental advocacy, followed by Q&A.
Small-group facilitated breakout sessions on energy conversion, food conversion, gardening and habitat, parish creation-care teams, and practical household solutions.
Large-group discussion of takeaways, toolboxes, follow-up, and actions going forward.
Although this will be a diocesan convening centered on Catholic creation-care teachings, persons of all backgrounds and beliefs are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate in at least one, and hopefully all three, of these convening sessions. For more information and to register, visit www.rcdony.org/dream or contact Theresa May at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 472-6753. Visit syrdio.org and click on BEING CATHOLIC; next click on Pope Francis and then Laudato Si’ for resources and information.
Retired Le Moyne Professor Ed Judge is on the Syracuse Laudato Si’ Task Force.