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Mount St. Mary’s Joins Laudato Si’ Action Plan

Donna Klinger

Aerial campus view

Mount St. Mary’s University has become one of the first universities to commit to participating in Pope Francis’ 7-Year Journey Toward Integral Ecology. The Laudato Si’ Action Platform, first outlined in May, is inspired by the Pope’s 2015 appeal, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.”

As a Laudato Si’ University, Mount St. Mary’s will chart its course through the Journey, with the assistance of the Action Platform. Led by the University’s newly established Centre for Integral Ecology, Economy and iMpact (CIEEM) within the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business, the Mount will spend the next year gathering a group of faculty, students, administrators, staff and neighbors to develop a Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the university that will advance each of the seven Laudato Si’ goals of responding to the cries of the Earth and the poor, fostering ecological economies, adopting a sustainable lifestyle, offering ecological education, developing ecological spirituality and supporting local communities. The next five years will involve the implementation of concrete actions, followed by a year to praise and thank God.

“We appreciate this opportunity to advance Pope Francis’ powerful Laudato Si’ message and are pleased to make this commitment,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “Pope Francis’ invitation for Catholic organizations and individuals to begin a seven-year journey to embrace integral ecology beautifully matches our institution’s commitments to steward our land and care for our community in mind, body and spirit.”

The Vatican’s formal launch of the action plan and enrollment is set for November 14, the Global Day of Prayer for the Poor. A 40-day period of prayer and promotion began on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Sustainability efforts at the Mount have long been tied to Laudato Si’, especially through the work of the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Committee in bringing awareness of environmental concerns to the Mount community. The committee, which consists of faculty, staff and students, quotes Pope Francis’ encyclical on its webpage: “Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.”

The Mount is a perennial entrant and winner in the annual nationwide Campus Race to Zero Waste competition in our university size category. The student Environmental Club organizes outreach events, tree plantings and field trips.

Donna Klinger