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How to Celebrate a Virtual Earth Day

For many Jesuit organizations and ministries, Earth Day, on April 22, is typically celebrated with a slew of public lectures, retreats and service projects that care for our common home. Now, many of these gatherings are canceled or moved online. While Earth Day may feel different this year, connecting with creation is just as vital in this time of isolation.

In many ways, coronavirus reminds us that we are all interconnected, interdependent on one another and on our Earth. Like many constants in our lives, we often take the Earth and its resources for granted. On this Earth Day, let us listen to creation and examine our relationship with Earth’s natural resources and with the poor and the vulnerable.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis prays, “Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.” In this time of illness, we unite in a vision of a healthier world that honors human dignity and cares for our common home.

Below is an Ignatian Earth Day guide with virtual reflections, resources and lectures to help you celebrate and connect with our beautiful world.

Pray & Reflect

The poetry of Greg Kennedy, SJ, calls our attention to our relationship with Earth and cautions against our culture of consumption, which assumes ownership of natural resources.


Kennedy works at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Canada, which holds spiritual retreats and promotes ecological stewardship through farming and forest growth programs. Despite program cancellations, local hikers still trek the Centre’s trails (at a safe social distance), seeking the peace and beauty of the natural world.

For many of us, quarantines have moved our lives indoors and online. This Earth Day, take time to step away from technology, go outside if you can, and experience creation. Start with this meditative prayer written and read by Eric Clayton.


For more prayer resources, take part in our Ecological Examen.

Encounter

As president of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Rodney Bordeaux has dedicated his career to fighting social and environmental injustice in his community. In this short interview, Bordeaux describes the fight for water and land rights, especially as oil pipelines threaten to contaminate reservation water sources.


Through these global reflections on ecological justice, indigenous and church leaders take up Pope Francis’ call for to live in harmony with the natural world and with one another.

This year also marks the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’. Join us in celebrating Laudato Si’ Week as we unite in solidarity for a more just and sustainable future.

Engage

Take part in these virtual events with the Ignatian family as we celebrate Earth Day.





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Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Fifth Bishop of Youngstown, OH, dies at 71.

June 1, 2020 — “As a black man living in America, the video of George Floyd’s suffocation cues unhealed experiences with police in this country and makes me less optimistic that change between the Black community and the police will soon change."

May 27, 2020 - Now more than ever, we invoke God to wipe away the darkness of anxiety, allowing us to be guided by the light of Christ and to trust in God’s promise of new life. Over the last few months, our Jesuit provinces have been in a place we don’t often find ourselves, a place that saw our schools closed, parishes empty, and the halls of our retreat centers giving new meaning to the word “silent.”

May 13, 2020 - Fr. Daniel Lahart, SJ, president of Regis High School recently asked one of the school’s alumni, Dr. Anthony Fauci, class of ’58, to record a video for the Jesuit graduates of 2020.

May 12, 2020 - Susan Baber has been named the Associate Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education for the new USA East Jesuit Province. The new province will come into being on July 31, Susan will assume this new role in August.

Fr. Dennis E. McNally, SJ, beloved painter and professor of fine arts at Saint Joseph’s University, dies at 76.

May 5, 2020 - Let us pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.

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JESUITS Magazine: Winter 2020

JESUITS Magazine: Spring/Summer 2019

JESUITS Magazine: Fall/Winter 2018



Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth
The Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Penn., is a place of natural beauty, welcoming quiet and spiritual sustenance for those who seek peace within.