What does ‘Laudato Si” mean to you? Do you recognise it as the name given to Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter back in 2015? Papal Encyclicals come and go and are soon forgotten. But this one was different. I think I’m right in saying that it has outsold every encyclical that has ever been produced. And that probably doesn’t include those who accessed it on the internet.

So, ‘Laudato Si’, or ‘On Care of Our Common Home’, has become a landmark Encyclical, a game changer. And on the fifth anniversary of its publication, a year of celebration was instigated from May 2020 to May 2021, which ends, now, with a final Laudato Si’ Week 16-25 May.

The week long event will celebrate the great progress the global Church has made in its ecological conversion journey during the past six years and offer a clear road map for the decade ahead. We know that much remains to be done, but we rejoice and celebrate the steps we have taken so far, and we look to the future with hope.

Why should we celebrate? I think the answer is because it has been taken so seriously, and not just by theologians and academics, but by people all over the world. It is a plea that we care for our common home. So Laudato Si’ week is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves of what Pope Francis says in the Encyclical, and of the commitment asked for, which is to a personal ecological conversion.

How do we do that? Well, help is at hand. Just go to www.laudatosiweek.org for a page of events that are taking place every day starting on 16-25 May. You will be able to register for any events that interest you. A word of warning – times are in Central European Time (CET) and we are one hour earlier, so 2pm CET is 1pm to us.

View the complete Laudato Si’ Week 2021 schedule and sign up for updates here: https://journeyto2030.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d39e8f0b3153c40887be1851b&id=08db077006&e=bff386039b.

Brian Austin is a Laudato Si’ Animator

Key dates:

17 May – A ‘Laudato Si’ Dialogue’, involving CAFOD Director Christine Allen and Fr Augusto Zampini of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. www.humandevelopment.va/en/news/2021/laudato-si-week-2021.html

19 May – An online evening of reflection, hosted by CAFOD, Christian Aid and Tearfund. www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-prayer-for-climate-justice-pre-g7-tickets-150564756239

21 May – Caritas Portsmouth and CAFOD Portsmouth will be holding a Laudato Si’ event, titled ‘for we know that things can change’ – https://cafodportsmouth.wordpress.com/2021/05/07/called-to-change/

22 May UN Biodiversity Day. The Columbans have produced ‘Jubilee for theEarth,’ a podcast mini-series about the beauty of biodiversity and the threats it faces, bringing insights from the 16 countries where they are on mission. Download at: https://columbancenter.org/jubilee-earth-study-guide

24 May – Soft launch of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform and, in Scotland, an online evening of reflection ‘Everything and Everyone is Connected’. www.eventbrite.com/e/everything-and-everyone-is-connected-tickets-150471198405

10 June – Interfaith G7 service of the eve of the G7 meeting of world leaders in Cornwall – https://cafod.org.uk/News/Events/G7-interfaith-event-Truro

26 June – 4 July – London Climate Action Week

Online schools’ assembly on 29 June

27 June – Tree Walk in London, organised by Westminster J&P – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tree-walk-tickets-152871929055

23-25 July – National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) annual conference – on ‘ecological conversion’ www.justice-and-peace.org.uk/conference

1 September – World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

1 September- 4 October – Season of Creation – https://seasonofcreation.org/

5 September – Climate Sunday National event at Glasgow Cathedral

Climate Sunday ecumenical project Mass resource: https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources/Climate-Sunday-Mass

September- November: International Climate Pilgrims travelling to Glasgow

1-12 November UN Climate Conference COP 26 in Glasgow