Catholic Leaders Won’t Let Laudato Si Pass Them By

Columban Fr. Sean McDonagh completed a three-city tour discussing his new book, On Care for Our Common Home, which explored the immense wonderment and beauty of Pope Francis' Encyclical, Laudato Si. Traveling to various Catholic parish on the East Coast, McDonagh not only discusses the document in his new book but uncovers the long and often unknown history of Catholic theology in creation care.

McDonagh finds the exploration to be of paramount importance considering that most priest his age were not taught creation care in the seminaries. “It's new for a lot of us. Most of the people who go to seminaries and into theology didn't actually deal with any of these issues, so there's a difficulty,” shared McDonagh.

Fr. Sean McDonagh's new book encourages not only historical understanding of the Encyclical but how to implement the theology into more Catholic homilies, and church discussions. “This is potentially an extraordinary moment for the church," McDonagh said. "Now, do we take it or do we go back into our burrows? I hope we take it.”

Eco-theologian Fr. Sean McDonagh: Don't let this 'Laudato Si'' moment pass

Brian Roewe | National Catholic Reporter

On Sunday eco-theologian Columban Fr. Sean McDonagh wrapped up a three-city, 10-day speaking tour of the East Coast focused on his new book on Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”

The book, similarly titled On Care for Our Common Home and published by Orbis Books, takes the encyclical’s full text and adds McDonagh’s reflections on its various themes: among them, climate change, biodiversity, water scarcity and threats to the oceans, and the food crisis. In addition,McDonagh recaps the development of Catholic theology on creation of the past half-century, and offers ideas on how to transform Francis’ vision in Laudato Si’ into meaningful action and a central piece of Catholic theology.

The tour, which ran Feb. 26-March 6, took him to parishes, monasteries and college campuses in New York, Washington D.C., and Boston. McDonagh spoke with NCR on Monday, weighing in on his tour, the encyclical and what comes next for the document that he said marks “an exciting moment for the church.”

“There’s just extraordinary possibilities in this document,” he said.

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