About "On Care for Our Common Home"
A Public Dialogue on the Papal Encyclical

National Catholic Reporter: "One of the many marvelous things about Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home, is that it is written in a very accessible style. It does not read like an academic tome as have many encyclicals of the past. Anyone who can read a newspaper can read this encyclical and get something out of it.

"True, it is 190 pages and about 40,000 words, but the six chapters flow nicely. It is not a hard read. The encyclical is great for individual reading, but even better for a book club, class or discussion group. Reading and discussing the encyclical in a group is exactly what is called for because throughout the letter, there are calls to dialogue."

We think this inspiring monograph should be read and discussed widely by people of every faith tradition (or no tradition), by those of every nationality, color, gender, and status, and by those of every way of life. Our own contribution, then, is a mere drop in the bucket, but we want to take our place among hundreds of thousands of similar groups around the globe of all sizes and composition gathering for the same purpose in coming months, to listen to one another regarding care for our common home.

Mary Vano

The Institute for Theological Studies at St. Margaret's (ITSSM) is pleased to host this public discussion of St. Francis' Encyclical letter in Central Arkansas. The ITSSM Guild is a community of teachers and learners, joined by commitment to our goal of faith with understanding.

St. Margaret's is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas. The congregation met in one of several theaters from 1991 until the dedication of our current building on Chenal Parkway in 1996. Our Rector is The Rev. Mary Vano.

Donnal Walter

Donnal Walter, MD, PhD, the facilitator for this study, has been on the UAMS faculty and the Arkansas Children's Hospital medical staff since 1984. He is a member of St. Margaret's, an inaugural member of the ITSSM Guild, and a board member of Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light. Two years ago he arranged the "1in7b" film series at Market Street Cinema, and last year was co-captain for two busses to the People's Climate March in NYC. On Facebook, he manages Friend to Friend on Climate and 1in7b. Donnal is a father and grandfather.