“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience”
A great deal of anticipation always surrounds a new papal encyclical. People wonder: Is Church teaching going to change? Will I, as a Catholic, be called to greater conversion and prayer? Will the pope use awesome words like “sourpuss?” (The answers are pretty consistently “Never,” “Always,” and “Probably,” respectively).
Back in May, you might remember the excitement surrounding Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care For Our Common Home. But for many Catholic school teachers, that was right around the time they were grading finals, packing up the classroom, and getting ready for summer — not exactly the ideal time to read a 42,000-word encyclical.
Laudato Si, in short, is Pope Francis’ appeal to the faithful to take a closer look at how we are shaping the future of our planet, the effect of humanity on global issues such as climate change and poverty, and the protection and care for what Francis calls “our common home.” I can hardly think of something that functions as more of a “common home” than a school or classroom, so with class back in session and the Holy Father himself visiting our neck of the woods in a few weeks, here are some ideas on how the Catholic educator can incorporate some of the main messages of Laudato Si in their classroom.