St. Bernadette marks the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home – Pope Francis’ landmark document on the environment with a six-week course on ecological vocations to aid the common good.
How to register
2. On the left hand side of the screen, look for Our Common Home Scripture Study. (If you don’t see the study, click the (+) character next to Show All Groups.)
3. Select the arrow on the right side of the column to show the different study days and times below the main title.
4. Select the study day and time you would like to attend.
5. Once the study appears on the screen, select Join this group (the green oval) in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
You can also register by calling the parish office, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM–4 PM, at 303.233.1523.
Study Session Resources
Creation is Good!
Study Session #1: Creation is good
Encyclical: Read Introduction and Chapter 1
The earth is our common home from which we breathe her air and receive life and refreshment from her waters. We are being asked to “replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism when ‘entails learning to give, and not simply to give up.’ It is a way of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs.”
How do you see our planet as a “common home?”
What does it mean to be a steward of creation?
Take a walk or drive and prayerfully observe nature. What do you see that is good? Give thanks. What do you see that is troubling? How can you respond?
“Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.” (Paragraph 42)
The Earth is Holy
Study Session #2: The Earth is Holy
If being human moves people to care for the environment, Christians in their turn “realize that their responsibility within creation, and their duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith (§64). Every creature…reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness
1. How do we as individuals and in our families, workplaces, communities and other affiliations contribute to environmental damage by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.? How are we part of the solution?
2. Where have you seen examples of environmental improvements being made? What other possibilities come to mind for realizing more of these?
Join others associated with the Catholic Climate Covenant (https://catholicclimatecovenant.org) to take action on responding to Pope Francis’ encyclical.
Water is Life!
Study Session #3: Water Is Life
Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, yet it is conceivable that the control of water by large multinational businesses may become a major source of conﬂict in this century.
Critical issues like global hunger and poverty cannot be resolved through technical advances in food, water and shelter production if other human factors such as corruption and greed continue to prevent the delivery of those resources directly to those in dire need of them.
1. The Pope says that access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, yet many poor people do not have access to it. (§27-31) Why is this? What can be done? What would you do if you found yourself and/or your family in this situation?
2. How can you show greater respect and gratitude for this amazing gift of God?
Study Session #4: Work Together
Public pressure has to be exerted in order to bring about decisive political action. Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls. Unless citizens control political power – national, regional and municipal – it will not be possible to control damage to the environment (§179).
…there is an urgent need for politics and economies to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life (§189).
Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention. Moreover, biodiversity is considered at most a deposit of economic resources available for exploitation, with no serious thought for the real value of things, their significance for persons or cultures, or the concerns and needs of the poor (§190).
1. Take a serious inventory of the things we consume around the house, driving/traveling, etc. Ask how your lifestyle choices can reduce waste.
2. Offset purchase with donations to better manage living space needs. Go through closets, your basement and storage facilities periodically and either sell, donate or give away the things you haven’t used for at least a year.
3. Go for one month just purchasing basic essentials.
Study Session #5: Culture of Life
The emptier a person’s heart is, the more they need to buy, own and consume. In this context, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears. And a consumerist lifestyle that only a few people are able to maintain can only lead to violence and mutual destruction (§204).
“Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life (§207).
To what lengths would you go to ensure that your loved ones have enough to eat; access to medical care, medicines and any other resources needed to protect/restore their health; or protection from extreme acts of violence such as starvation, rape, mutilation or war? To what extent do we have a responsibility to ensure others faced with similar challenges can provide for and protect their loved ones?
Since our families are the fundamental building blocks of society, what can we do to cultivate lifestyles of gratitude, the proper care/use of things, respect for the local ecosystem and a responsive concern for the needs of the poor in our homes and extended families (§213-214)?
1. Find ways to be less destructive and more rejuvenating, like nature regenerates itself. Start with your own spaces over which you have control. More recycling of clothes, household goods, mulch/compost, etc.
Study Session #6: Sacrificial Love
1. Take note of the products you buy that are packaged in plastic bags, shrink wrap, or bottles that all are potentially hazardous to human health and to the wellbeing of other creatures that share the planet with us. Take steps to reduce you use of these plastics.
2. As part of your Spring Cleaning, plan for recycling or responsible disposal of old electronics or hazardous materials.
3. Use reusable bags when shopping.
4. As a family, consider ways you might simplify your lives.
5. Turn off electronics in favor of being present to and with family and friends.