Laudato Si Ecumenical Synod

Conversations Of Blacks and Irish, ie Blirish, Baptists and Catholics, For Laudato Si Projects

There is a chance we can team up with Father Sean McDonagh in a 3 year “Laudato synodal process” in Catholic parishes across the world. This note is about Father McDonagh and the process he will be helping advance, followed by an invitation to him and the Columban Missionary order to meet with Emmanuel Pratt and some South Side Chicago teams headed to Dublin, Ireland this August, hopefully to meet with the good Father.

Below are excerpts from an interview with the key drafter of Laudato Si, Fr. Sean McDonagh, a Columban missionary recently awarded the Annual Justice Award of the Partnership for Global Justice.

Catholic Reporter. You were involved in the development of this encyclical. What was that process like? Were you focused on a specific aspect of the text?

Well, I was asked by Cardinal Peter Turkson in November 2013 to write a document for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and I wrote it up, like 30,000 words … now eventually, in 2014, that kind of morphed into the beginning of the encyclical itself. So that whole section, basically, on what’s happening in our world, those were issues I developed.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/eco-theologian-fr-sean-mcdonagh-don-t-let-laudato-si-moment-pass

I hope you can read the interview and/or my exerpts and let me know if you are up for advancing vision of partnering across nation’s Ignatian community to support the 3 year synodal process to harvest Laudato Si for the good cause.

Central to that, the Irish priest said, is a three-year synodal process aimed at taking the new teaching, “a new spirituality” that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith.

“It’s new for a lot of us. Most of the people who go to seminaries and into theology didn’t actually deal with any of these issues, so there’s a difficulty,” McDonagh said, pointing in particular to Francis’ quoting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his frequent discussion of sins against creation, be it human-caused climate change or the loss of biodiversity due to pollution and deforestation.

“None of us here believe those are sins,” he added.

I was hearing from people that they would like to see the Catholic church giving leadership [on ecological issues], and particularly the theological side of things. There isn’t a Catholic institute here that actually has taken on board the theological side, with interdisciplinary approaches to this that would include physics, biology and chemistry and cosmology.

if you had asked me six years ago, in my lifetime would something like this emerge, I would have no, there’s no possibility for this emerging. And it has emerged, but it’s[Laudato Si] 99 percent ahead of where most Catholics are. And it needs to be not 99 percent, it needs to be our lived doctrine and our lived practices from here on in. Now you need good theology to do that.

Well, I was asked by Cardinal Peter Turkson in November 2013 to write a document for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and I wrote it up, like 30,000 words … now eventually, in 2014, that kind of morphed into the beginning of the encyclical itself. So that whole section, basically, on what’s happening in our world, those were issues I developed.

One of the things he’s very strong on he takes in from Centesimus Annus, in which Pope John Paul II talks about how, especially in the United States and Europe, we have a love affair with science, particularly with technology, because we think it’s great. And we actually do think that some technology is going to solve the issue of climate change for us. And [Francis is] very strong on that: He says, No, that’s not going to happen. He’s not saying that technologies are not important — and there’s wonderful work being done in the United States, particularly on alternatives sources of energy and on batteries — but he’s saying we need lifestyle changes.

And then number two, from a theological and spiritual perspective, [Francis has] now come with an extraordinary new teaching that species have intrinsic value … and so a new spirituality has to include our understanding and intimacy with the natural world. So here in Boston College, how many trees actually have you named outside, and have you named how supportive they are of other species? That’s the kind of intimate understanding that will become part of an ecological theology.

the most certain thing it’s going to do is we’re going to have to work with other people. We’re going to have to work with the scientific community, to work with other religious traditions, so we can’t do it alone. But we will also need very good rituals, very good prayers, very good concerns for our moral life:

United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change. … The first time that the church ever made, on policy levels, an impact that I felt was actually at the Paris one in December. Many, many people quoted Laudato Si’ as the beginning of creating now policies in terms of the whole era of fossil fuel, reducing it -- mitigation -- and then also the alternatives, and how to support the alternatives and the kinds of economic policies that are necessary to do that. So here was a document that was being used and quoted for that. …

every aspect of [Laudato Si’] is extraordinary. And it’s only when you begin to think what was there beforehand, like the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church, a half a paragraph on climate change — and not serious. And you could say, ‘Well that’s not important,’ but it’s totally important. A half a paragraph on biodiversity? That is totally irresponsible.

How am I going to get close to the oak tree? How am I going to know that? How am I going to know what the insects are doing in my community? How am I going to know the birds — there are 9,000 species of birds, 3,000 of them are on the red list, are they here in my community? Is there anything we’re doing? Add it to the theology that needs to be done and the prayers and the spirituality.

It’s a good ecological document. It’s a good social [document], he’s really good on the impact of the destruction of the earth on the poor, he’s very good on that. But it really is an evangelical document. If someone asked me, ‘Look could you give me a book, how to be a Christian in the 21st century?’ I’d say, take this book[Laudato Si], and you can have the Bible, as well.

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Dear Father McDonagh and Columban Community,

A team of young and old South Side Chicago “apprentice ecopreneurs” will be participating in a Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts project this August called ‘A Fair Land’…in essence the plan is to build a model village - starting with a glut garden built on the straw bale system with 300 gourd plants…plan to develop the food processing, industry, economy, education and housing - in roughly that order at this site. ​Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts is our contact person.

I am writing in hopes to advancing a collaboration between the Sweet Water Foundation’s urban ag and education teams, “earth nation citizens” of Ignatian and Ivy leadership groups, and the Laudato Si synodal process.

​Our initial contribution would be to weave the Ignatian, Ivy, and urban agriculture communities of the USA ​into conversations about the process, and feature progress in museum and educational programs our director has been developing.​

Emmanuel Pratt, director of the Sweet Water Foundation, has inspired me with the vision of sharing the Laudato Si Synodal Process at a Big Apple MoMA Exhibit sometime b/t 2018 and 2020, through digital images and links that would flow through New Story Wall Portals, similar to the photo array in this image from his School of the Art Institute show this past fall. With smart phones people would click onto synodal process image and discover this Great Work. There will be soap box moments in the real, as well.

My vision of nesting the Laudato Si Synodal Process into a Pratt multi-media “performance” at the Big Apple MoMA is a pragmatic utopian one, given the impact I have witnessed from Emmanuel’s Chicago shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Water Tower Gallery, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, SAIC, Columbia College Glass Curtain Gallery, and about every university in the region.

Since Pratt is a digital technology artist as well as a farmer, architect, performer, and more​​ , it is easy for me to imagine digital screening and live streaming of “partners” from across boundaries, geographic and otherwise, at his shows.

The museum as a commons ​ and weapons of the weak, ​for “earth nation Americans” and town/gown collaboration experiments, bringing to life museum spaces with greening the hood delights, but also with “​theory​ alive!” as your ​works​ provides.​​.. and the museum “in the hood,” through the kind of digital connectivity his SAIC show provided, as well as visits to the museums with folks from the neighborhoods.​

Sweet Water Foundation’s Space of Art Abundance in Green Dollar, Cultural, Social, and, especially, “Spiritual” Capital

Pratt and I co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation in 2010. Since that time we have helped mainstream aquaponics, installed aquaponics demos in about 25 schools in Milwaukee and Chicago, acquired Chicago’s Perry Ave. Community Farm, turned a couple of old houses into “integral urban homes,” one of which, the Heart Haus, brings in revenues as an Airbnb I hope you might visit!

Emmanuel won the Chicago Magazine Green Award a few years back, and has been highly praised as a pragmatic, boundary crossing visionary in the Trib and Sun Times. ​

I would like to share news of our possible collaboration on August 5, 2016, the 50th anniversary of the stoning of Dr. Martin Luther King, in Marquette Park, Chicago, about a 20 minute drive from where this greening miracle is taking place. Below is an image of myself directly behind Dr. King at the moment of the assault, followed by an image of Grace Lee Boggs blessing my work, when I and Emmanuel made a pilgrimage to Detroit to celebrate Obama’s inaugeration in 2008.

Godsil​ A “Momentary Body Guard” for Dr. King

Godsil​ with Grace​ Lee Boggs

Pratt has won a year long fellowship to Harvard’s School of Design to advance this vision.

My work has been covered by the Harvard Business School these past 5 years. I very much hope you will consider democratizing your work with us, starting at the Big Apple MoMA, unfolding in a vision of universities, libraries, and museums in time, Everywhere!, in dialectical relationship with our greening hoods.

We Need A New Strong Story

Dear Jaroslav,

Emmanuel shared your superb work with me and news of your Hyde Park collaboration. ​
​I have spent a rewarding hour with your “Cartographies of Hope.” I have visions of yours and Emmanuel’s collaboration experiments with your respective social learning networks across the planet to be a most compelling “Strong Story” of your hopes.

As Emmanuel would say—”It’s already happened.”

I look forward to his sharing the origins and ABCD’s of the Sweet Water Academy with you.

In my next note I will be sharing visions of a kind of morphic resonance of the Academy’s emergence, a Pratt and Sweet Water Teams’ Big Apple MoMA performance, I hope will be titled A South Side Chicago Laudato Si!

Best,

Godsil

Laudato Si and Comfoods Network Outreach

Dear All,

Over the years I and others have shared visions and stories of the UA community joining in collaboration experiments with the nation’s faith communities. To my astonishment, we now have an important ally in the good Jesuit Pope of the 1.2 billion Catholics across the world, whose encyclical “Laudato Si” is a manifesto for 21st century movements that couple social and ecological justice. Laudato Si offers a common language for urban agrarians to share their “ecological spiritualty” and food and local production experiments.

There may soon be a platform to accelerate this field of collaborative possibilities, i.e. an ecumenical synod.

In her essay “A Radical Vatican?” Naomi Klein identified Father Sean McDonagh as a key draft writer of Laudato Si. He recently visited the East Coast in hopes of sparking a global, grass roots study and act “synodal process” to create an ecological theology in place of the “old stories.”

Official “Catholics,” in Father McDonagh’s vision, would be joined by all of God’s children in this process. I am working with a number of Jesuits and members of the Ignatian Communityto advance this “universal” concept of “catholic,” as well as with the Sweet Water Foundation’s Emmanuel Pratt
who has long called for a Baptist/Catholic dialogue re Dr. King’s essay, a “Radical Revolution of Values.”

Any Comfoodies think this worthy of brainstorming?

​Dear Laura,

So I just sent this note to Ann Carroll of the EPA​ who may have some resourced “partners” for the good cause in the D.C. region. I frame this Laudato Si Project as a social learning and production network, peer to peer, where teachers are students, students are teachers, optimally open sourced, and laterally scaling, with a 5 to 10 year phase one. At this moment email exchanges make the most sense to me. Thoughts?

​Dear Ann,

I am delighted and inspired by your response to these visions! Yes, yes, please invite Faith-based program folks in EPA, USDA, your office of Environmental Justice, Georgetown, Catholic University, and influential Catholic HS in your region to join this conversation about harvesting the value of Laudato Si for our social and ecological justice aspirations.

​Here is a portion of a note I sent to Brad Wilson, a Comfoodie who served on the Board of the National Family Farm Coalition:​

​Note To Brad Wilson​

Here’s the full text! Laudato Si!

I would love your response to some of this, and I hope you will consider sharing this note with your key comrades in the good cause and invite them to join in!

1. “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.[1]

2. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Here are some excerpts from an interview with the Irish priest who wrote key portions of Laudato Si and who came to the US in hopes of inspiring an ongoing harvesting of Laudato Si in theory and practice.

Fr. Sean McDonagh Advancing Green Spirituality

I was hearing from people that they would like to see the Catholic church giving leadership [on ecological issues], and particularly the theological side of things. There isn’t a Catholic institute here that actually has taken on board the theological side, with interdisciplinary approaches to this that would include physics, biology and chemistry and cosmology.

but it’s[Laudato Si] 99 percent ahead of where most Catholics are. And it needs to be not 99 percent, it needs to be our lived doctrine and our lived practices from here on in. Now you need good theology to do that.
​And then number two, from a theological and spiritual perspective, [Francis has] now come with an extraordinary new teaching that species have intrinsic value … and so a new spirituality has to include our understanding and intimacy with the natural world.

the most certain thing it’s going to do is we’re going to have to work with other people. We’re going to have to work with the scientific community, to work with other religious traditions, so we can’t do it alone. But we will also need very good rituals, very good prayers, very good concerns for our moral life: ​

United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change. … The first time that the church ever made, on policy levels, an impact that I felt was actually at the Paris one in December. Many, many people quoted Laudato Si’ as the beginning of creating now policies in terms of the whole era of fossil fuel, reducing it — mitigation — and then also the alternatives, and how to support the alternatives and the kinds of economic policies that are necessary to do that. So here was a document that was being used and quoted for that.

every aspect of [Laudato Si’] is extraordinary. And it’s only when you begin to think what was there beforehand, like the Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church, a half a paragraph on climate change — and not serious. And you could say, ‘Well that’s not important,’ but it’s totally important. A half a paragraph on biodiversity? That is totally irresponsible.
How am I going to get close to the oak tree? How am I going to know what the insects are doing in my community? How am I going to know the birds — there are 9,000 species of birds, 3,000 of them are on the red list, are they here in my community?

It’s a good ecological document. It’s a good social [document], he’s really good on the impact of the destruction of the earth on the poor, he’s very good on that. But it really is an evangelical document. If someone asked me, ‘Look could you give me a book, how to be a Christian in the 21st century?’ I’d say, take this book[Laudato Si], and you can have the Bible, as well.

Best regards,

Godsil

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Outreach To Jesuit High School SLHU Class of 1963

Dear All,

The 500th anniversary of the Society of Jesuit will be in 2040, a year I hope as many of us can hang on and celebrate our contribution sharing the New Theology of Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si.”

The Jesuit Pope’s Encylical, “Laudato Si,” is rooted in “new story” of
Father Teilhard de Chardin.

The priest who wrote the first draft of Laudato Si, was a
Columban missionary who became a student of the Irish American
Eco Priest Father Thomas Berry,who founded the Teilhard Society and
is now celebrated by Yale and Harvard.

His name is Father Sean McDonagh.

Father McDonagh met with Sweet Water Foundation Director
and Harvard Loeb Fellow, Emmanuel Pratt, at the Irish Museum
of Modern History “A Fair Land” exhibition, and signed on to a
5 year conversation about a Catholic Baptist EcoLogical Conversation
about “Laudato Si” and Dr. Martin Luther King.

This Dec. 3, Fr. Sean will be meeting with Dublin Urban Agrarian
Andrew Douglas(to my left), who created an aquaponics demo at
Belvedere College, the Jesuit High School, where James Joyce matriculated.
Pratt hopes to bring Douglas to the Chicago Sweet Water Perry Ave
Commons to work on connecting Black Baptists
with the Laudato Si Synodal process and advancing vision of 5% of the world’s
schools with aquaponics pilot projects by 2040.

Grateful,

​Godsil​

Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by Tyler Schuster.  Page last modified on October 22, 2016

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