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Loretto is embracing Laudato Si’ spirituality

Posted on July 1, 2022, by Libby Comeaux CoL

In “Laudato Si’” Pope Francis urges upon us nothing less than an ecological conversion. Conversion connotes a life-changing spiritual, and resulting physical, transformation. It can be something familiar, like leaving all to follow a religious vocation, or welcoming a baby into a home and community. Like birthing, it can come through a measure of upheaval, but the point is the ecstasy.

A group of women in casual clothes lean in for a photo in front of a background of leafy green trees.
Participants in a 2016 retreat visit Rockhaven Ecozoic Center in Missouri to learn about our sacred connection to Earth and the “great work” needed to live in harmony with creation. Participants: front row, left to right, Natalie Gaviria (Loretto Volunteer), Cathy Hartrich, Nikki Munsayac (Loretto Volunteer), Mary Louise Pabello (Loretto Volunteer), Loeva Bonino and Caitlyn Hagarty (Loretto Volunteer); middle row: Carol Devanny, Sarah Hoeynck, Deborah Casias-Noonan, Jill Quinlan, Sylviane Bonino and Roberta Hudlow SL; back row: Ashley O’Shaughnessy, Noeli Lytton, Beth Blissman CoL and Jen Staed.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Staed

The Laudato Si’ Action Platform (LSAP) sets forth seven goals. The spirituality goal reads: “Ecological Spirituality springs from a profound ecological conversion and helps us to ‘discover God in all things,’ both in the beauty of creation and in the sighs of the sick and the groans of the afflicted, aware that the life of the spirit is not dissociated from worldly realities.”

Humankind did not weave the web of life, but is merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.

Chief Seattle

Pope Francis invites us into a humility that recognizes our human community as young compared to the rest of creation. We were fashioned to receive the vast intelligence of the cosmos as a lived experience. Many Indigenous peoples today carry this wisdom. Our ancestors include forests, living soil and myriad natural beings, giving back as they receivein the reciprocal generosity that fosters the web of life. Laudato Si’ connects traditional Catholic teachings with this wisdom stream.

We offer spiritual nurture in the form of seasonal reconnections, as well as retreats that literally reground our souls.

Libby Comeaux CoL

Over the past 30 years the Loretto Community has centered our spirituality on gratitude for God’s unfolding Creation. If we can turn toward ecological conversion, we may find the ecstasy that was ours all along.

A woman squats on a rock in a stream, her hands cupped in front of her.

Loretto activities encouraging ecological conversion

Loretto Outreach sponsors study circles, the most recent using Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass” — an invitation to recover Earth-based wonder. Encouraging mutual relationship with the Earth community, we offer spiritual nurture in the form of seasonal reconnections, as well as retreats that literally reground our souls. We engage with students as they turn toward the current ecological reality and the resulting challenges we sadly must hand off to them. Regenerating the land has spread as spiritual practice throughout the Community, most notably at the Motherhouse Farm.

Please visit the Outreach page and fill in the contact form to learn about retreats, study groups and other offerings.

Create your own Laudato Si’ spirituality resources

Laudato Si’ Action Platform spirituality activities include: creation-based liturgical celebrations, ecological catechesis, retreats and formation programs.

Two women sit in parallel chairs, gesturing in sync with their right hands.
Jennifer Staed, left, and Johanna Brian SL participate in a Loretto Outreach retreat at the Loretto Motherhouse in 2018.
Photo by Leslee Moore CoL

Libby Comeaux CoL

Libby became a Loretto Co-member 20 years ago and has been walking the Labyrinth ever since. Recently she became editor of Loretto Earth Network News. She wonders what a participatory Earth democracy will feel like. It's okay to dream.
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Loretto welcomes you

Learn more or plan a visit to the Motherhouse!