In February 2023, a twenty page guide was released as the result of a collaboration between the scientific and spiritual communities, between the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. It sets out essential facts and solutions on key topics, along with advice on how communities can respond.
It is inspired by Pope Francis’ second encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, which explores our ecological crisis and its roots in over-consumption and current models of economic development.
Laudato Si’ Action Platform Launches with Leadership from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
On the World Day of Prayer for the Poor in 2021, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced the launch of the next phase of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) played a key role in its development as a member of the Religious Order working group.
The Laudato Si' Action Platform is a key Vatican initiative to empower the universal Church to achieve total sustainability in the holistic spirit of integral ecology. The human family faces increasing risks of hunger, disease, migration, and conflict due to climate change and environmental degradation, unfortunately, the most vulnerable suffer above all.
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform provides practical tools to address this socio-ecological crisis. Anyone who pledges to be part of the platform can access free resources to evaluate where they stand on the road to sustainability, reflect on the principles of integral ecology, and make a plan to take action.
From 2020-2021, CSA has helped shape both the model and the content for this program. Through deep and sustained conversations with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and a global network of partners, the Holy Spirit has created a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, a shared space for action that offers new momentum to urgently address our socio-ecological crisis.
We invite you and all members of the universal Church to join us and the Vatican on this Laudato Si’ journey.
Find out more at www.laudatosiactionplatform.org
The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes is grateful for the call of Pope Francis to Hear the Cry of Earth and the Cry of the Poor.
In light of the growing impact of climate change on the global community, we, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes and the Associate Community USA, honoring our interdependence with all of God’s creation and in a spirit of nonviolence, personally, communally, and collaboratively commit to actions that:
We commit to actions that:
- Flow from a spirituality of integral ecology (Laudato Si’ – Chapter 4) that expresses interconnections among environmental, economic, scientific, social and cultural systems,
- Respect Earth and the interdependence of all life,
- Consume less of Earth’s nonrenewable resources through the six R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, and restore,
- Educate ourselves and others about the equitable development of renewable, cleaner energy sources in order to
- mitigate the impact of climate change and
- enable the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change
- Promote a low-carbon economy especially in Nicaragua and the USA where we serve,
- Cooperate with governmental and non-governmental organizations that are committed to care for Earth.
This is not a new commitment, but rather a deepening of our community’s recognition of the sacred interdependence of creation and our place in the web of life. This is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to developing and acting out an ecological consciousness both individually and corporately. This renewed commitment is especially critical given the urgent need to address the global climate crisis.
The Vatican’s seven-year Laudato Si’ Action Platform calls the worldwide Catholic community and “all men and women of good will” (LS 3) to publicly engage in the work of transformation through integral ecology.
The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes and the Associate Community USA publicly commit to the seven-year process of transformation by strategically engaging the seven goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
Baseline for Goal 6
This goal recovers a religious vision of God's creation and encourages greater contact with the natural world in a spirit of wonder, praise, joy, and gratitude.
A Few of CSA's Actions So Far
CSA maintains a Labyrinth on the Motherhouse grounds. A Labyrinth is an ancient prayer practice involving a winding path that leads ultimately to a center and then winds back out to the point where it began. It is not a difficult walk; there are no dead ends in the maze. The path is symbolic of the journey inward toward God's illumination and then outward, grounded in God and empowered to act in the world.
Learn more about praying the Labyrinth or schedule a visit >>
Ecological spirituality is rooted in CSA’s history and mission. Father Caspar Rehrl, earliest founder of the Congregation, once said “Oh, how I wish that the Sisters of St. Agnes might someday live on this beautiful land watered by springs.” That land eventually became CSA’s St. Joseph Springs Farm and is the current location of our Motherhouse. In 2022, the congregation protected 233 acres in perpetuity through a conservation easement partnership with Glacial Lakes Conservancy.
Learn more about our conservation easement or schedule a visit >>
The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes has been offering the community Earth Day celebrations for many years, in the form of festivals, fairs, and prayer services. The last two years, we have participated in virtual prayer services planned by LCWR 9 Legislative Network. Collaboration with others has always been central to our environmental justice work. It is a special time to work with the students of St. Mary Springs and Marian University, local officials, interfaith groups, health care providers, and environmental organizations, including groups like Wisconsin Green Muslims, who apply Islamic environmental justice teachings in daily life and form coalitions with others working toward a just, healthy, peaceful and sustainable future. “There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings, but they are communities like you…” (The Qur’an, 6:38)
In the late summer of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as people across the world were adapting to new realities, a new normal in an immense slow down, many turned to technology as a way to connect with each other. CSA also adapted to use of new technologies. "Staying in the Fray of Life" was a five-session, CSA preached virtual retreat, which granted many hope and encouragement, and fed the desire to deepen their relationship with God. Sessions offered prayer, handouts for further reflection, and opportunities for spiritual guidance. These sessions continue to be available on the CSA YouTube channel.
Session 1 - Priming the Pump
Session 2 - Saying "Yes" to God: Loss and Surrender
Session 3 - It's All in the Attitude
Session 4 - Changing our Hearts: CONVERSION
Session 5 - The Immune System of the Human Spirit