Jesuit Missions explores Laudato Si'

A webinar organised by Jesuit Missions, with the support of Educate Magis, brought representatives from several Jesuit and Loreto works together.  Participants learnt more about Laudato Si and the work of Jesuit Missions.  They shared their experiences of caring for our common home.

Learning about Laudato Si and the work of Jesuit Missions

Fr Edward Bermingham SJ and Fr Edmond Grace SJ spoke with participants about the nature of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si.  They highlighted the diverse range of global Jesuit works putting the vision of Laudato Si into action.  These include the London Jesuit Centre, Jesuit European Social Centre and Eco-Jesuit.  Fr Grace noted the importance of reaching out to political leaders and the business community in our efforts to create a sustainable future.

Lucy Gillingham, Assistant Programmes Officer at Jesuit Missions gave examples of the increasing influence of Laudato Si.  Lucy spoke about projects supported by Jesuit Missions in over 20 countries, including Malawi, Madagascar, and Burkina Faso.  Care for our common home is seen as a key element in the application process for overseas projects.

Pope Francis points out that it is the marginalised who are already feeling the effects of climate change.  The Universal Apostolic Preference ‘Journeying with Youth’ reminds us that it is young people around the world who are the inheritors of the natural world.  What kind of a legacy are we leaving for them and how do we prepare them for the future?

Sharing best practice

The webinar provided an important opportunity for participants to share best practice in their own contexts.  Much is happening on a grass roots level, ranging from reduction of the use of plastic to green planting schemes to discussion on energy sources. Participants included a Jesuit Missions Parish Promoter, teachers in Jesuit and Associate schools, a representative from the sisters of Loreto, and the Schools Officer from the Jesuit Institute.  It provided a forum for sharing between those in Jesuit works and those from Loreto tradition.

Attendees flagged up the importance of continuing dialogue amongst all of us as we seek to change society and provide a sustainable future for all.

Maria Neal, Schools Officer for the Jesuit Institute, reflects:

‘I think sharing of this information is so important.  There are so many things going on in the Province that we do not really know about.  It is inspiring to share in a safe environment the actions and results of the fabulous work people are doing.  I think what came across was that the young people are more than capable of leading.  What is key is that they are listened to and enabled to put their ideas into action.’

We hope this will be the first of a series of webinars.  Thanks goes to Ciara Beuster of Educate Magis for technical support.

Anyone hoping to find out more should contact Lynn McWilliams, Outreach Coordinator at Jesuit Missions (Lynn@JesuitMissions.org.uk).