Loyola Celebrates & Reflects on Pope's Encyclical "Laudato Si"
Last week, Loyola University Chicago hosted “Caring for our Common Home: Conversations on Ecology and Justice” – an entire day of programming dedicated to the exploration of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment. The entire Loyola community and general public were invited to attend and participate. Programs included academic paper presentations, symposia, town halls, and teach-ins that focused on ecology, public policy, globalization, global health, humanitarian care, public theology, consumer behavior and Loyola’s current role in environmental sustainability.
Academic and community teach-ins on “The Humans Roots of Ecological Crisis” and “Ecological Education and Spirituality” were done outdoors during the morning sessions and included student and faculty held performances. In the afternoon, there were two town hall sessions held on the 4th floor of the Klarcheck Information Commons; the former encouraged an open conversation on Laudato Si, and the latter was a robust presentation and discussion of the University’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2025. Attendees of the town hall were able to learn about the history of Loyola’s mission to become environmental orient, the drastic evolution of campus the last 15 years, and upcoming initiatives and projects that will project carbon neutrality in the next decade.
Following the town halls, there were musical performances and a community fair in the West Quad of campus where attendees enjoyed refreshments while learning what environmental initiatives student organizations and University departments were involved with. From urban agriculture to social and environmental activism, each and every community member were both informed and entertained.
On September 24, Pope Francis will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, becoming the first pope to address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill. Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies in collaboration with Campus Ministry and The Ignatian Solidarity Network, invites alumni and members of the campus community to gather for a #Pope2Congress Watch Party in all three campuses, where we will watch the address via livestream and follow the conversation on social media.