It’s been one long hot summer. The news has been full of brush fires and drought in the West, stifling temperatures in Central Canada and erratic temperatures in the East. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, climate change is very real and very concrete. The timing couldn’t be more critical for the publication of the new encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si, on the environment. To a growing global concern about how humanity is destroying the earth, the pope adds his considerable moral authority. More than that, however, Francis combines a clear-eyed view of what is going on with a review and updating of Christian theology on the environment. It includes an urgent call to action for all of us.
To ensure that Francis’ message permeates Catholic thought here in North America, Novalis has published a group reading guide. On Care for our Common Home offers an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive summary of the encyclical.
It is a wonderful resource for parish study groups, schools and anyone interested in what the Catholic Church has to say on the environment. To that end, we have tried to make it as affordable as possible, and have special bulk prices available. Author Bill Huebsch is well suited to the task of simplifying the encyclical for popular use. He has years of experience in parish catechesis and is a well-known speaker and Vatican II scholar. His previous books include The Joy of the Gospel: A Group Reading Guide to Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium.
With this guide, Novalis hopes to ensure that Catholic belief and understanding become more than a topic for theology classes. We want the Pope’s message to reach far and wide, into the pews certainly, but even beyond the doors of the Church. In fact, Francis himself addressed this encyclical to “every living person on the planet.”
Our environmental crisis is too large and too urgent to be left to the “experts.” All of us, Catholic or not, have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure the survival of the earth. We hope this reading guide will help point us in the right direction.
-Joseph Sinasac, Publishing Director