WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for the environment, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington launches our Laudato Si’ Action Plan: Embarking On A Seven-Year Journey Promoting An Integral Ecology. The Action Plan offers easy, moderate, and advanced strategies for individuals, parishes, schools and other institutions to work toward protecting the Earth, our common home, and all human life.
A result of eighteen months of work by the laity-led Care for Creation Committee and the archdiocesan Office of Social Concerns, this local action plan is to be used throughout the Archdiocese. It is a call to people of faith to “embrace environmental science and the science of climate change to protect and preserve the environment for future generations because the Earth is God’s wondrous creation and gift to humanity.” (Laudato Si’ Plan p. 6)
Crafted for the people of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, this local Laudato Si’ Action Plan seeks to work toward an integral ecology – the concept that says that caring for our fellow human beings is connected to our concern for the environment. (Laudato Si’ No. 139) The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington Laudato Si’ Action Plan aims to reflect an integral ecology in the life of its parishes, parish schools, and with the faithful.
In an opening letter in the Laudato Si’ Action Plan, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, writes, “This Action Plan is for all of us! We are all called to protect our common home according to our ability and means…” He goes on to invite everyone to study the plan “…and be challenged to protect and restore our fragile Earth and our natural resources.”
The plan includes simple, low-cost steps that households, parishes and others can take to conserve water and electricity and to protect natural resources. It also has relevant videos and links to resources such as grant applications, study guides and local environment-focused events. It ranks suggested activities on a scale from “easy,” such as “cut down on single-use plastics,” to “moderate,” including “incorporate justice and care for our common home into faith formation programs at all levels,” and a few “advanced” activities including “compost food scraps.”