This year's Monastic Institute will explore Pope Francis' Encyclical, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. In the world we live in today, we know that caring for creation is of utmost importance, as the Pope lays out for us in this lengthy encyclical. How and why was this document written? How does the decline of the environment affect the poor? What implications does it bear for monastic communities? We will explore these questions, and many more.
Monsignor Kevin Irwin, dean emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies and Research Processor at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., who penned the introduction to the printed version of Laudato Si' who has recently published A Commentary on Laudato Si': Examining the Background, Contributions, Implementation, and Future of Pope Francis' Encyclical, will lead off this year's Institute with discussions on how the document was written, followed by discussions on how the document takes its place among at least 10 other papal letters issued over the past 125 years, first inaugurated by Pope Leo XIII.
Sr. Michelle L'Allier, OSF, is a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls (Little Falls, MN) presentation: Laudato Si' and the Poor: A Call to Communion, Conversion, and Global Solidary will bring Laudato Si’ and today’s environmental crisis into conversation with the Franciscan tradition. This will include exploration of our inter-dependence in the sisterhood and brotherhood of all of creation, the impact of environmental degradation on those who are poor and vulnerable, and our call to respond.
Dr. Bernie Evans, associate professor emeritus of theology at Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary (Collegeville, MN) presentation: Captialism, Business and Markets in a World of Limited Resources, draws from other writings of Pope Francis in his critique of "economies that kill" as well as previous popes and such critics of capitalism as Virgil Michel and Walter Rauschenbusch. Our economies – local and global – function in ways that benefit most people, but leave many by the wayside. Capitalism, and most businesses within it, depends on unending growth along with an ever expanding rate of consumption. This session looks at the impact of these market economies on human well-being and the quality of our common home.
Sr. Anne McCarthy, OSB, a sister of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie (Erie, PA), will talk about the Benedictine response to Pope Francis' encyclical and the call to environmental stewardship in her talk titled: Benedictine Way in a Hostile World: Seek Peace and Pursue It.
Abbot John Klassen, OSB, of Saint John's Abbey (Collegeville, MN) will make a call to action for monastic communitites to respond to the prompting of the spirit in our inspired communities.