Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Laudato Si' Action Plan

Introduction This Action Plan seeks to drive an OLSH ecological conversion. Simply put, this means recognizing that all things within God’s creation are connected, and seeking to transform ourselves and our Province in ways of loving which will make our communities sustainable and regenerative. This conversion, which is primarily a response to the Gospel as interpreted by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, is a process by which our contemplation of God’s creation and loving relationship with the heart of Jesus become more and more evident in our relationships with the world around us, and we respond more fully to the call to be protectors of Creation. It is our response to the environmental crisis which the world faces and the social and cultural crises which stem from it. It is based on the Gospel message and the spirit of the integral ecology outlined by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’: the intimate connection between humans and our environment. Our Charism, a precious gift of the Spirit, is rooted in the merciful and loving heart of Jesus whose compassionate love embraces the whole of creation. Our Founder, Jules Chevalier MSC, saw a new world of love and mercy coming forth from the pierced heart of Jesus. As Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, we too are called to believe in the possibility of this new world, despite the untold havoc and degradation threatening both our environment and the whole global family. Following Fr Chevalier’s example, “we take into our hearts and our prayer the hopes and concerns of the people of our time (and) use the resources available to us to assist them” (Const. 58), “attentive to emerging needs, particularly those resulting from poverty, violence, oppression, the degradation of the environment, and the dislocation of peoples” (Const. 59). Rationale As Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, partnering with the members of the wider Chevalier family, we are committed to responding to issues of injustice, wherever we find them. Our call is to respond to God’s unconditional love by living the charism and spirituality of Jules Chevalier, who was driven by his conviction that God’s love is boundless, embracing all people, and is “the answer to their hopes, their questionings and their every need” (Const. 5). Currently Earth’s ecological and human systems are in severe crisis. There are more and more people living in hunger, poverty and disadvantage, and our planet is experiencing never before seen mass destruction of its living systems through devastating environmental impacts that affect climate, species, oceans, fresh water, agriculture, human health and development. Inequality abounds as it is those who are rendered poor who are disproportionately affected by these destructive impacts. In our own local context, the Indigenous peoples of Australia and the Philippines, who have lovingly and successfully cared for the environment for thousands of years, are among those in the world for whom lack of care for the environment has had the most devastating and destructive impact upon their lives in every way – physically, culturally and spiritually. At the heart of this crisis, there is need for profound ecological conversion which implies, first and foremost for us, a transformation of the heart and mind that is one with the heart and mind of Jesus in his love for all creation. This transformation will lead to authentic changes in the way we live and behave, helping us to acknowledge our personal contribution to the social and ecological crises we face, and inspiring us to restore our relationships with one another, with the whole of creation and with God. The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion (LS, 217) This individual ecological conversion must also be a community conversion, calling us all to work together to find new creative solutions to protect our common home, seeking to respond with Mary to do whatever He tells us to do. We are called to this – to be on earth the heart of God: to love and renew the whole of creation in the power of his love. Seen like this, how beautiful the world is…It is divine speech… Happy are those who listen to that speech and make sense of it! Jules Chevalier (SCJ 281-2) Our OLSH Laudato Si’ Action Plan is in line with Pope Francis’ plea for “an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith, since the teachings of the Gospel have direct consequences for our way of thinking, feeling and living” (LS, 216). Our lived charism, a precious gift of the Holy Spirit to our Founder and to all the Chevalier Family, inspires us to believe in God’s love for each of us and calls us to reflect and bear witness to that love to all whom we encounter. In the words of Pope Francis, “It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs” (LS, 9).The seven goals of Laudato Si’ guide our actions in caring for our common home.