Laudato Si grows roots within Marianist community

Edward Ramos '23, Campus News Editor

“Laudato Si” or “Praise be to you” is an encyclical written by Pope Francis in May of 2015 which urges new dialogue, new ideas, and new fellowship concerning the planet’s well-being. 

Laudato Si is not an ordinary encyclical: instead of Catholic teachings being directed solely to members of the faith, the pope writes in the preamble that he “would like to enter into dialogue with all people” on the grounds of us sharing a “common home,” and in the church’s eyes, a common goal. 

Unsurprisingly, many students and faculty are embracing the call of service, both intentionally and unintentionally. 

Deacon Chris Mariano, a member of Campus Ministry, emphasized that Laudato Si is “all about making sense of how God is in everything and how to treat everything.” 

He furthered his claim saying that “Francis wants us not only to take care of Earth, but to take care of each other.”

Deacon Mariano also revealed that Campus Ministry is pondering on how to implement Laudato Si in a way that focuses on the three major parts of a person: the body, the mind, and the soul. 

Outside of Campus Ministry, we can look at the Wellness Club which aspires to spread love and positivity by providing a gathering space for students.

 Emily Brown ’23, Co-leader of the club, states her favorite parts about leading Wellness are “the club members, the positivity, and the joy it brings to the school.”

 While Wellness itself isn’t connected to Laudato Si, that does not hold it back from exemplifying the call to action by caring for the poor in spirit (a prime factor of the encyclical).  

Jameson Datoc ’23, LIFE team member, stressed “it[Laudato Si] must be implemented into our society today” because our Earth is “one hundred percent in need of rebuilding.” 

Many statistics can back Datoc’s point, but a few notable ones include almost 700 million people living in extreme poverty world-wide (though it should be mentioned this number has been going down), roughly 467 different species being declared extinct in the past 10 years (however, they could have been extinct before), and consumption rising nearly 30 percent amongst Americans. 

Vance Whipple, economics teacher and former public service advocate, overheard Datoc’s claims and added “we could be more digital and use less paper.” 

Datoc agreed, saying, “less paper means less of a demand of cutting down trees…which not only helps the air quality, but also provides homes for animals.”  

Little steps like using less paper may seem far too simple to be implemented into an ordained encyclical, but because Laudato Si commands a more broad message, the message to care for the earth, we can understand that any action which shows love towards creation, is positive because of what is called for in Laudato Si. 

Still, Deacon Mariano suggests that Laudato Si is not solely about hugging trees or picking up a million water bottles or any other ecological accolade; instead, he clarified “It [Laudato Si] is just about where it [our energy] is allocated, where it goes.”

With this in mind, Mariano finished the conversation by summing up Pope Francis’s second encyclical as this: “a reflection on how we take care of the things God has given us.”