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experience as I walked along the ageless paths and felt the pebbles under my feet where Indigenous ancestors once walked. Equally intense was the sense of solidarity I felt as a pilgrim marching with many others across the Sydney Harbour Bridge as an act both of paying tribute to the natural beauty around us and acknowledging the importance of our human ability to literally and literarily build bridges, in our constant quest to connect with each other and with nature.

crisis of our time and the moral tenor of this planetary predicament.

Perhaps what makes Laudato Si’ special, with unprecedented enthusiasm around a papal Encyclical, is that the messenger is the message. This is the Francis effect. Once again, Pope Francis has given us a gift through himself, expressed through this Encyclical. Jorge Bergoglio chose a regnal name that would undoubtedly establish his reputation as a defender of the poor and of the earth. The saint from Assisi is to be his guide and inspiration.

Thus, it is with profound appreciation and gratitude that I welcome this collection of reflections, The Francis Effect II: Praised Be You – On Care for our Common Home. We must thank Catholic Mission, Catholic Religious Australia and Catholic Earthcare Australia for their tireless efforts, dedication, and leadership in putting together these thoughtful insights on Laudato Si’, which I would consider as one of the most important documents of the Church in all history.

It therefore comes as no surprise that Pope Francis would come up with Laudato Si’. Greatly anticipated, the messages within Laudato Si’ have been given directly to us and the responsibility rests on our shoulders to ensure that the Encyclical remains an important message speaking courageously about the environmental

As we continue on this journey, we realise that Francis is telling us many things all at once, but that the very answers to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth are one and the same. The reflections in this book, in breadth and in depth, help us distill this reality and move towards a life of ecological conversion.

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It is always enticing to dissect the Encyclical and I suspect that from hereon, each one of us will have a favourite paragraph, especially if it resonates with our own treasured values. But the Encyclical is not merely a collection of separate chapters and paragraphs. It is one message of love, which resonates in a myriad of possibilities.

THE FRANCIS EFFECT II: PRAISED BE YOU – ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

Profile for Catholic Mission

The Francis Effect II - Praised Be You - On Care for our Common Home  

Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ enc...

The Francis Effect II - Praised Be You - On Care for our Common Home  

Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ enc...

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