Our mission at Prairiewoods—to provide a “sacred space where people of all faiths and cultures are invited to explore and nurture their relationships with the Source of all Being, Earth, Self and Others”—resonates with the profound and universal call to urgent and holistic care for creation that is Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be). The encyclical espouses a deeply incarnational and thoroughly biblical worldview that highlights an integral ecology in which care for God’s creation and care for the poor and outcast are intimately related. Citing the “inseparable bond” between concern for creation, justice for the poor, commitment to society and interior peace (Laudato Si’, paragraph #10), Pope Francis admonishes all people of goodwill to reflect on our interdependence, to consider making healthful life changes and to act responsibly for the good of all creation.
We no longer can deny or ignore the gravity of the cultural and environmental challenge we are facing. Despite the urgency of the challenge, Francis calls us to hope: “Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start …” (#205). He calls us all to a loving and profound conversion, stating, “Only by cultivating sound virtues will people be able to make a selfless ecological commitment” (#211).
At Prairiewoods, we offer opportunities to engage with the integral ecology Pope Francis describes. We do this by offering both spiritual space and guided experiences, intentional pauses in the fast pace of modern life. Prairiewoods is a sacred place of peace and transformation, where all are encouraged to rekindle our love and affection for creation, to foster spiritual reflection, to deepen our compassion, and to nourish holistic health and life practices. In other words, Laudato Si’ shines its light directly into the heart of our mission. For this, we are profoundly grateful and deeply called to service. Praise Be!
Praise Be Programs at Prairiewoods: Visit our calendar page and look for programs whose titles begin with “Praise Be” for programming related to the eco-encyclical and the relationship between spirituality and care for Earth.
Full Text of Laudato Si’ : Read the full text of Laudato Si’ here for free. Print copies are available in the Prairiewoods Gift Shop.
CURATED LIST OF RESOURCES
The resources to connect with Laudato Si’ grow daily. The following is only a partial list and is by no means exhaustive.
Leonardo Boff, “The Magna Carta of integral ecology: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the poor,” Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, June 18, 2015
Ilia Delio, “Lex credendi, lex vivendi: A response to Laudato Si‘” from National Catholic Reporter, June 30, 2015
Christiana Z. Peppard, “What you need to know about Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical” from The Washington Post, June 18, 2015
“Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for February 2016” from the Vatican, Feb. 5, 2016
“Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters” panel at Yale, April 8, 2015
“Meditation on Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical” from The Well Spirituality Center
Catholic Climate Covenant, specifically the Encyclical Toolkit
Ecostream by the EcoJesuits, especially their Laudato Si’ coverage
Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, specifically their Encyclical resources