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Common Home Ministry Presents:                                                          Laudato Si’
Creation Care: A Call to Action for People of Faith
Wednesday, May 29th 7 pm
Church of the Ascension: Parish Hall
9510 W 127th St. Overland Park, KS
Pope Francis challenged us all with one simple question in 2015: “What kind of world do you want to leave those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” As we approach the fourth anniversary of the release of his groundbreaking Laudato Si encyclical, all people of faith are called to evaluate our response to this question. Msgr. Stuart Swetland will tackle what exactly Pope Francis is calling us to and what we can do to answer that challenge.
Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., was ordained a priest in 1991. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the U.S. Naval Academy. Elected a Rhodes Scholar in 1981, he entered the Catholic Church while studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford. He has a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford; a M.Div. and M.A. from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary; and his S.T.L. and S.T.D. from the Pontifical Lateran University. He has an honorary Doctorate in from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. He currently serves as the President of Donnelly College in Kansas City, KS, where he is also Professor of Leadership and Christian Ethics. He also hosts the television show Catholicism on Campus on EWTN and Go Ask Your Father on Relevant Radio.

Take the Challenge, Ascension!

Say “NO” to Single-Use Plastics

These are ideas that you and your family can pledge to do in response to Pope Francis’ call for us to “counteract the throwaway culture which affects the entire planet.”

  • Refuse/say NO to disposable plastic whenever and wherever possible. Choose items that are not packaged in plastic, and carry your own bags, containers and utensils. Say, “no straw, please.”
  • Reuse durable, non-toxic straws, utensils, to-go containers, bottles, bags, and other everyday items. Choose glass, paper, stainless steel, wood, ceramic and bamboo over plastic
  • Reduce your plastic footprint. Cut down on your consumption of goods that contain excessive plastic packaging and parts. If it will leave behind plastic trash, don’t buy it.

 Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. Pay attention to the entire life cycle of items you bring into your life, from source to manufacturing to distribution to disposal.

Participate in a beach, stream, river, park, road cl

Support local bans on single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam.

Avoid microbeads: Tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads,” are a growing source of ocean plastic pollutition.  Microbeads are found in some face scrubs, toothpastes, and body washes, and they readily enter our oceans and waterways through our sewer systems. Avoid products containing plastic microbeads by looking for “polythelene” and “polypropylene” on the ingredient labels of your cosmetic products.


Watch the 5 minute video featuring Pope Francis by either visiting the YouTube link below:

From Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si:

“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” 

Click Here for “Do One Thing Video” to help understand how everyone doing one thing can change our world for the better and help all of us conserve and be responsible for our Earth.

A Prayer for Our Earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
 Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. 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. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
 Pope Francis Laudato Si

Please join Ascension’s Common Home Ministry in celebrating the Feast Day of St. Francis, the Patron Saint of Ecology!  We will be helping to care for the gift of God’s creation by cleaning up at Quivira Park and the stream and trail areas adjacent to it. Date: sometime Fall, 2019.  You will receive an assigned area to clean up, along with gloves and trash bags, provided by the City of Overland Park.  Kids can earn one service hour (non-corporal)  Treats provided afterwards!                                                                              What to bring:

  • Your Ascension Volunteer T-shirt, or pick one up at the park!
  • Your own refillable water bottle from home (coolers with water will be provided.)
  • Appropriate clothing and foot ware

RecycleSpot Poster:  Do’s and Don’ts

Earth Day 2018 Handout (1)

Recycling Tips – April 2018

Click here for a video of Pope Francis

Click here for recycling at Ascension

Click here for a short video

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you.  Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made.  Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.  God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you!  Amen.

Excerpted from “A Christian prayer in union with creation,” in Laudato Si, no. 246

Click here for a Catholic Resource 

Survey results for   The Common Home Ministry

“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord.” These are the words that open Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and care for God’s creation. These words, quoting St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful canticle, remind 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.

Pope Francis addresses Laudato Si’ to “every person on the planet,” for we all share a common home—the earth. He focuses on a number of important themes

  • A Moral and Spiritual Challenge. The ecological crisis, Pope Francis writes, is a summons to profound interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created
  • Care for God’s God created the world and entrusted it to us as a gift. Now we have the responsibility to care for and protect it and all people, who are part of creation. Protecting human dignity is strongly linked to care for creation.
  • We are All We are connected to the rest of the human family, to the created world, and to those who will come after us in future generations.
  • Impact on the People in poverty have contributed least to climate change, yet they are disproportionately impacted by it. As a result of excessive use of natural resource by wealthy nations, those who are poor experience pollution, lack of access to clean water, hunger, and more.
  • We are one human family and have a shared responsibility for others and for creation. Wealthy countries have a responsibility to reduce consumption of non-renewal resources and should help poorer nations develop in sustainable ways.
  • Technological and economic development must serve human beings and enhance human dignity, instead of creating an economy of exclusion, so that all people have access to what is needed for authentic human
  • Supporting Life, Protecting Concern for nature is incompatible with failure to protect vulnerable human beings, such as unborn children, people with disabilities, or victims of human trafficking.
  • A Time to Pope Francis calls for a change in lifestyle and consumption. We can make important changes as individuals, families, and communities, and as civil and political leaders.
  • Hope and “Injustice is not invincible” (no. 74) and we act knowing that we seek to live out God’s vision of renewed relationships with God, ourselves, one another, and creation.

How You Can Respond:   Click here for the “Do One Thing”video

Each of us are called to take concrete steps – from reducing consumption to working for political change – to better care for creation. Here are some ideas.

  1. Become more aware of our Care for one another and creation includes understanding that “everything is connected” (no. 91) and that the economy, politics, community involvement, and technology all affect the future of the planet and humankind. How can we become more aware of our connectedness?

2) Changes to lifestyle and consumption habits can make a big For example, get a re-usable water bottle, take shorter showers, walk, bike or take public transportation instead of driving, recycle, compost food waste, and buy energy efficient appliancesMake changes institutionally at your parish, school, or For example, start recycling and composting, use washable dinnerware in cafeterias, share electronically instead of printing, do an energy audit, and install solar panels.

3) Support local efforts to solve environmental Community groups around the country are working to make city, county, and state-wide changes that can make a big difference. Find out what is going on locally and get involved.

4)Contact your members of Congress to share Pope Francis’ message and urge action to address climate Sign up for action alerts with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at


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