Oblate Shrine Sponsors Day of Reflection on “Laudato Si”

National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows

Information Provided By Mark Etling


Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker

Since its issuance in 2015, Laudato Si has stimulated considerable thought and action on the part of Catholics and others who are concerned about the environment and stewardship of the earth.  Dialogue and action in response to the encyclical will be the focus of “Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home:  Reflection and Action on Laudato Si coming to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows on Saturday, April 21st.  In addition to a keynote by Yale Divinity School’s Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, several break-out sessions on how to respond to the challenges of “Laudato Si” will be led by local authorities in the areas of ecology, technology and poverty.

This event is the second in a series devoted to the study and implementation of Laudato Si.  The day begins with the keynote address by Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale Divinity School.  Doctor Tucker collaborated for many years with eco-theologian and Earth scholar Fr. Thomas Berry. She also created, in collaboration with Brian Swimme, a multi-media project called Journey of the Universe, which includes an Emmy Award-winning film which was broadcast by PBS.

Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND

The  hands-on breakout sessions include: Cheryl Kemner, OSF and Nicole Heerlein of Franciscans for Earth  speaking on the“Challenge of Technology and Simple Lifestyle;”  Sister Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Director of La Vista Ecological Learning Center, will lead a session titled “Backyard Revolution;”  Sister Connie Probst, OSF, Co-Director of the St. Anthony’s Food Pantry, will speak on “Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor;”  and Jamie Hasemeier of Holy Redeemer Parish in St. Louis, Missouri will offer several solutions to the often-heard question, “What Can My Parish and Family Do?”

The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m.  It will be held in the Visitors Center at the Shrine, located at 442 S. De Mazenod Drive in Belleville, Illinois.

The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for students.  For those who are able, a payment of $40 is suggested to cover the fee of a student who cannot afford to pay.  To register call 618-394-6270 or go online:

Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, has been hailed as a new moment in the history of the Catholic Church’s social teaching.  The encyclical calls us to care for the earth and all its resources, physical and human:  “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development . . .” (#13).

“Our Sacred Earth, Our Common Home:  Reflection and Action on Laudato Si” is sponsored by the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, La Vista Ecological Learning Center, the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.