Laudato Si quote:
"God has written a precious book, “whose letters are the multitude of created things present in the universe.” The Canadian bishops rightly pointed out that no creature is excluded from this manifestation of God: “From panoramic vistas to the tiniest living form, nature is a constant source of wonder and awe. It is also a continuing revelation of the divine.” The bishops of Japan, for their part, made a thought-provoking observation: “To sense each creature singing the hymn of its existence is to live joyfully in God’s love and hope.” #85
Laudato Si in its entirety can always be accessed for free here.
Ending Human Trafficking
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines labor trafficking as: “The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.” Our response to labor trafficking must include the ways we individually and corporately spend our money, consciously asking about where our purchases were produced, by whom, and under what circumstances.
Buying fair trade items is one way to respond. We’ll look at one item, given that this is the month of Halloween: fair-trade chocolate. To begin to learn more about cocoa and the production of chocolate, watch this 12-minute video. More about the links between child labor, trafficking, and your chocolate next week…
In the preamble to the book Caste, Isabel Wilkerson tells of a man who, faced with the realities of the Third Reich, acted in resistance. She then writes, “We would like to believe that we would have taken the more difficult path of standing up against injustice in defense of the outcaste. But unless people are willing to transcend their fears, endure discomfort and derision, suffer the scorn of loved ones and neighbors and co-workers and friends, fall into disfavor of perhaps every one they know, face exclusion and even banishment, it would be numerically impossible, humanly impossible, for everyone to be that man. What would it take to be him in any era? What would it take to be him now?”
Consider joining the book study on this book – four Wednesday evenings beginning October 20th.
In this “On Being” podcast (51 minutes), Krista Tippett talks with Robin DiAngelo, author of Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm and Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies in a conversation that is guaranteed to engage and challenge you. Click here to play the Podcast.
Reflection Questions to consider: What part of the podcast made you want to think deeper about the topic? What part of the podcast made you uncomfortable? Why do you think that is?
Just Immigration Reform
Oh, Mercy: Searching for Hope in the Promised Land is a 12-minute video documentary (just updated in September) about those trapped at the US/Mexico border. Excellent for use in the classroom, as a discussion starter in a parish, as a source of reflection on the human faces of those who seek safety. The video can be found here.
Reflection Questions for the video: What images caught your attention in the video? How do those images match or challenge the perceptions you might have from television or social media? What does it make you want to do?
Integrity of Creation
The True Cost of Oil: Roughly 126,000 gallons of oil has spilled into the Cataline Channel in California this weekend, creating an oil slick spanning more than 8,300 acres (13 square miles). Apparently caused by a pipeline failure from an offshore oil platform and the Port of Long Beach, the spill has left oil along the sandy beaches of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach, killing fish, birds, and threatening wetlands in what is likely an environmental disaster. The area is home to 90 species of birds, and oil-covered fish and birds are already washing onshore. This is a reminder that our choices and actions have a direct impact on the natural world.
Reflection Questions to consider: As the images of this oil spill become more available, how do you see the deep connection between all of life? How is our dependence on oil (and on all the products we use that rely on petroleum) linked to this ecological disaster?
Laudato Si Congregation
The Laudato Si survey open until October 11th - click here to complete it!
In the coming weeks, SSNDs and the wider SSND network will be submitting 3-minute videos on their experience of what Pope Francis has called ‘ecological conversion.’ Consider sharing your ecological conversion story and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch Patrick Laorden's Ecological Conversion Video below!