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  • Writer's picturethewrightecotheologian

Integral Ecology as the Beating Heart of Catholic Discipleship

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Thursday October 14th at 7pm (My Virtual Talk as Part of a Faith and Life Series)

I am thrilled that the Catholic Information Center of Grand Rapids MI is hosting a Series called Faith and Life -- and have invited me to offer a talk on Integral Ecology within Laudato Si. As we brainstormed about what would serve the people who would listen to this talk, the idea of Catholic discipleship kept returning to the forefront of our minds.

Who am I to say no to this gentle nudge from the universe? So I have spent many prayerful and creative moments crafting the story of integral ecology within Laudato Si' and how Catholics today who espouse a deep love of Christ embrace this whole heartedly.

Want to join me Thursday October 14th at 7-8:30pm? Registration is online at And any donation would be greatly appreciated so this organization affiliated with the Paulist Order can continue their great work.

Do you know about the Paulist religious order? The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (“The Paulist Fathers”) is a community of Catholic priests who share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through mission preaching, media, campus ministries, parishes, downtown centers, the arts and more. Led by the Holy Spirit, the Paulists focus on evangelization (reaching out), reconciliation (bringing peace) and ecumenical and interfaith relations (seeking unity).

But I cannot leave you without a glimpse at some of what I will be sharing Thursday evening ...

First we will touch on the Sensus Fidei ... how people of faith make sense of God self-communication in our everyday life and in the life of our faith communities.

This will lead us to explore the story of how our theological imaginations have not been primed to see Earth and the poor as subjects of God’s affection -- and thus we have neglected them.

We must loosen our white knuckle grip on this dysfunctional story that is starving our theological imaginations to grasp a more life-giving one that will feed us, body and soul.

Next we will prayerfully explore how the universe story and Christ’s story are intertwined in the concept of integral ecology in Laudato Si’. Our new planetary consciousness is the fertile substrate out of which Pope Francis’ integral ecology has sprouted.

In a snapshot, I propose that Pope Francis' Integral Ecology has six intertwining branches which we will explore together:

Interconnectivity, Intrinsic worth, Interdependence, Webs of Life, Reciprocity and Gratitude.

This is fertile ground for Catholic Discipleship today -- so with each branch I will connect with Catholic Social teaching and socio-ecological issues that need our full attention -- and even fuller hearts. Then I share my observations working with Catholics and other believers all across the country who are living this spirit of integral ecology in diverse and important ways.

I hope you can join with me on this pilgrimage -- it has been a privilege putting this together and I look forward to our discussion session after my talk ... this is truly my favorite part -- listening and learning from you!

Praise Be!

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