Gaudete Sunday: and a couple of us Marists attended a Laudato Si Circle Eucharist in the Gardens of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart here in Rome.  This monthly Eucharist is organized by the Global Catholic Climate Movement  Our celebrant today was Fr Joshtram Kureethadam sdb ,  coordinator of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development    On of Fr Josh's responsibilities is to spearhead the Laudato Si 7-year Roll Out Plan, due to be formally launched on 24 May 2021, and of which we Marists plan to be a part, to fulfill a goal of our 2017 General Chapter, n.47:  'to create a program for an appropriation of Laudato Si'.   

Yesterday, 12 December, on the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, called on the leaders of the world's nations to declare states of "climate emergency" in their countries to spur action to avoid "catastrophic" global warming.

Yesterday Pope Francis joined other world leaders and made his contribution to this  Climate Ambition Summit, a virtual gathering aimed at building momentum for much steeper cuts in planet-warming emissions on the fifth anniversary of the 2015 Paris climate accord. below is a copy of his address

Pope Francis recording his message for the UN Climate Summit

Pope to UN Climate Summit: 'Now is time to change direction',  the Holy See's efforts are committed  to promoting a "culture of care" in order to combat climate change.

"The effects of the ongoing pandemic and climate change—which are relevant not only for the environment but also for the spheres of ethics, society, economics, and politics—weigh most heavily upon the lives of the poor and vulnerable."

Vatican City State's efforts

In his video message, Pope Francis expressed his support for efforts to work toward net-zero emissions, and described the Holy See's actions in this regard, which take place on two different levels.

Vatican City State, said the Pope, is dedicated to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Vatican is also seeking to care for the environment by reducing its water and electricity usage, and by employing tactics to encourage energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, reforestation, and waste recycling.

Vatican Gardens

Holy See's educational efforts

Pope Francis said the Holy See is also seeking to educate people in integral ecology.

"Politics and technology," he said, "must unite behind an educational process which favors a cultural model of development and sustainability focused on fraternity and an alliance between human beings and the environment."

With this goal in mind, the Pope said he had set up the Global Compact on Education , to help Catholic schools and universities promote a holistic form of education.

Over 70 million students attend Catholic schools and universities, he noted.

Sharing economy

Another initiative promoted by Pope Francis was The Economy of Francesco, which saw young economists, entrepreneurs, and changemakers come together to help build a better future.

He said they are promoting new paths which "put care for shared goods at the center of national and international politics, and promote sustainable production methods even in low-income countries, by sharing relevant advanced technologies."

Hope for a better future

Pope Francis concluded his video message to world leaders engaged in fighting the climate crisis with an encouragement to seize the moment.

"The time has come to change direction," he said. "Let us not rob younger generations of their hope in a better future."