“Today I am pleased to announce that the Laudato Si year will result in a concrete action project, the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, a seven-year journey that will see our communities committed in different ways to becoming totally sustainable, in the spirit of integral ecology.”

Pope Francis included these words in his video message marking the launch of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, a new global campaign to bring the message of his 2015 encyclical more fully into the lives of the faithful….

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is joining in this effort, with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issuing a statement inviting everyone to participate.

“To this end, I invite you all to better educate yourselves on the changes we need to make in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while prioritizing the needs of the vulnerable in the face of this climate crisis,” San Francisco’s archbishop wrote….

Since officially launching in mid-November, individuals from across the archdiocese have been signing up to participate in the action platform, giving diverse reasons for wanting to take part in the effort….

The first resource sent out to participants was a Laudato Si’ Action Platform guide, offering suggestions for actions that fall within the seven goals of the program: response to the cry of the earth, response to the cry of the poor, ecological economics, adoption of sustainable lifestyles, ecological education, ecological spirituality, and community resilience and empowerment.

The actions range from very simple, like using a clothesline to dry clothes, to more advanced, such as updating buildings to be environmentally friendly. Some can be done by individuals, while others are more fitting for groups such as parishes and schools.

The ideas are just that, and the way this plan is implemented will look different for each person and organization. They are a starting point. The creativity of individuals will play a major role in bringing this message to life.

Although the Laudato Si’ Action Platform itself is new, many throughout the archdiocese have been active in this area since the encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home was published in 2015. This encyclical was the first to focus specifically on environmental issues, building on the Church’s previous social teachings on the subject. In it, Pope Francis described the challenges humanity is facing and the unique call of the Catholic faith to respond. Parishes responded to this call with enthusiasm. They built green teams that were focused on environmental issues, held Laudato Si study groups, increased recycling efforts, took part in letter-writing campaigns and more. There have also been infrastructure efforts throughout the facilities of the Archdiocese, such as the switch to LED lighting, the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and the creation of systems to catch storm runoff….

The above comes from a March 28 statement from the Archdiocese of San Francisco.