The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College continues sharing the good news of Laudato Si’ as the encyclical celebrates the first year anniversary of publication.
Sr. Kathleen Deignan and Br. Kevin Cawley of the Berry Forum have been promoting the work of Pope Francis with presentations on the encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. The encyclical is commonly known as “Laudato Si’."
Recent presentations included Holy Family Parish in New Rochelle, N.Y., and St. Augustine Parish in Larchmont, N.Y. Earlier, they had presented at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Hartsdale, N.Y. Audience members have also contacted additional sites for presentations. While Catholic parishes are a very obvious choice for sharing this teaching, there is also great interest in Laudato from other faith-based groups. Most recently, Sr. Kathleen and Br. Kevin presented to a gathering of more than 100 participants at the 87th Annual Luncheon of the Scarsdale-Hartsdale Women’s Club at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, N.Y.
Kevin has also brought the Laudato slideshow to St. Joseph Care Center for the Christian Brothers in New Rochelle where the residents proved a very receptive audience with several penetrating questions afterward.
The encyclical has been celebrated for nearly a full year at this time and has begun to enjoy a wider reception in faith groups. Invitations to the Berry Forum to present in other venues and other churches are a testament to the deep interest that Pope Francis has stirred with this work now added to the Church’s social teaching.
Members of the Berry Forum have noted several threads linking the teaching of Pope Francis and the writing of Thomas Berry, especially in the matter of our human-earth relationship. How the human responds to the challenge of a mutually beneficial human-earth relationship will be our “Great Work,” as Thomas believed. Our response will determine the lives of many millions who will inherit the surface of earth when the present generations have left the scene.
-- Kevin Cawley
Executive Director of the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College