Faith Encounters the Ecological Crisis

In this new year, I want to invite you to explore how big problems in this world affect us on an individual level.  Taking a look at the ecological crisis we are facing today, we must ask ourselves how we, as Catholics, are called to respond.  Before we can respond though, we need to get a better understanding of the situation and how it effects all of us, especially “the least of these.” This JustMatters program was designed to help us through this and I would love for you to join us!

This JustMatters module was designed as a community learning process built around the book, Living Beyond the ‘End of the World,’ A Spirituality of Hope, by Margaret Swedish. Every day, we experience the many ways the ecology of our communities is changing and even breaking down – toxins in our air, waters, and food, extinction rates unseen since the end of the dinosaur age, changes in weather patterns, diseases impacting our forests, the rise in human diseases like cancer, asthma, and diabetes, invasive species, and more.

Faith Encounters the Ecological Crisis identifies that ways in which we are already living beyond the biocapacity of the planet and challenges participants to identify elements of a spirituality for living through the ecological crisis. Participants will view several films, engage in small and large group discussion, and meet with several guest speakers as they consider various aspects of the ecological crisis. Participants will also identify ways to ‘live beyond the end of this world’ with a rich and vibrant Earth community still intact, still able to support life.

The module has a strong focus on Catholic social teaching and asks very big questions about our priorities, our moral values, what we owe the world now and the future generations that come after us, and what God intended for this creation. The material is challenging and likely to raise some troubling questions and emotions. This is good! It is necessary! It is also necessary that participants enter the process with the desire to listen to one another and to learn from one another.  No matter your political backgrounds or beliefs, we are all on this world together and we must forge a path to the future together.  We want all voices around the table!

By the end of the process, participants will have seen what the crisis has to teach us about how to live faithfully in this moment in time, brought Gospel values to the forefront of their reflections on the state of the Earth, gained a sense of empowerment within the context of community, and explored options for making a commitment to action

We will be meeting after the 12:15pm Mass (~12:45pm) on Tuesdays from January 6th through February 24th.  The sessions last approximately 2.25 hours and the group will decide to do a potluck or brown bag your own lunch before we begin. Registration is required and the cost will be ~$20-$30 which includes the 8 week program and a book you will get to keep. The Cathedral is looking to supplement parishioners’ costs and do not want the price to limit anyone from participating.

To register or if you have any questions please contact Marcus Ebenhoe at 254-3221 x127 or mebenhoe@dor.org.
Thanks and we’re looking forward to this great discovery and discussion!