Pope Francis urged people to continue to listen to the “cry of the earth and to the cry of the poor” as the Catholic Church marked the end of the “Laudato si Year” observance on Monday, May 24.
“I thank those who participated with many initiatives throughout the world,” said the pope at the end of his Regina Coeli prayer in St Peter’s Square on Sunday.
“It is a journey that we must continue together, listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor,” he said as he thanked “animators who today receive the mandate to spread the Gospel of Creation and to take care of our common home.”
The yearlong Laudato sì anniversary observance featured initiatives with emphasis on “ecological conversion” in “action.”
The celebration aimed to invite people around the world to respond to “a peoples’ movement” to “cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.”
Pope Francis announced that the “seven-year operative course” will begin immediately to guide everyone “to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.”
The program will include activities, projects, and events that local church communities and civil society groups can participate in.
Last year, the Vatican released a 200-page document that aims to inspire and guide Christians to act on the call of the Church to promote integral ecology and care of creation.
The text titled “On the Journey for Care of the Common Home” guides the public on how to perform personal tasks to achieve concrete measures, such as diet, recycling, and divestment on dirty energy sources, among others.
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ has, since its release six years ago, enlivened Catholic communities across the globe to work against the ecological crisis and climate emergency.