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Vatican launches prayer campaign for Laudato Si' goals

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VATICAN CITY — Groups and individuals who have accepted Pope Francis' invitation to step up their commitment to caring for creation are encouraged to prepare for their journey with a new prayer campaign.

Special prayers have been developed for each day of the week for different communities, like parishes, dioceses, religious orders, families, hospitals, schools, businesses and others, that have joined the Laudato Si' Action Platform.

The 40-day prayer campaign begins Oct. 4 — the feast of St. Francis and concludes Nov. 14 — the World Day of Prayer for the Poor. The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced the campaign Oct. 1.

The Laudato Si' Action Platform is "a seven-year journey that will see our communities committed in different ways to becoming totally sustainable, in the spirit of integral ecology," the pope said in a video message launching the platform May 25.

"We need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world, our lifestyles, our relationship with the resources of the earth and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and of living life," he said.

The platform was set up to help people with that process of conversion that leads to concrete action in a coordinated, global effort. It is meant for people, particularly communities, that want to increase their commitment to bringing the encyclical "Laudato Si'" to life by promising a set of actions over a period of seven years.

The prayers are based on the Laudato Si' goals, which are: responding to the cry of the Earth and environmental degradation; responding to the cry of the poor and vulnerable; creating an ecological-sustainable economy; adopting simple lifestyles; supporting ecological education; promoting ecological spirituality; and building community awareness, participation and action.

"The prayer campaign supports the seven sectors joining the Laudato Si' Action Platform with a dedicated day of prayer for each, connecting each sector with a Laudato Si' goal," the dicastery said in a media release.

Integral ecology requires every member of the wider church to contribute their skills and work together on common goals, which is why the platform specifically invites certain sectors: families; parishes and dioceses; schools and universities; hospitals and health care centers; workers, businesses and farms; organizations, groups and movements; and religious orders. People were invited to register May 25-Oct. 4 to assess what they are doing now and to see how they can further contribute to the seven Laudato Si' goals.

The next phase in the Laudato Si' Action Platform is set to kick off Nov. 14, when the dicastery plans to publish Laudato Si' planning guides and related materials. Catholics will then be invited "to make a firm commitment to creating their own Laudato Si' plans," the dicastery said.

Current resources include a new website in nine languages at laudatosi.va and an action platform at laudatosiplattform.org as part of a "road map" of action for the next decade. The prayers can be found at https://laudatosiactionplatform.org/resources.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021