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Laying the Groundwork
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  • Introduction
      • Nothing in this world is indifferent to us
      • United by the same concern
      • Saint Francis of Assisi
      • My appeal
  • Chapter One:
    What Is Happening to Our Common Home?
    1. Pollution and Climate Change
      • Pollution, waste and the throwaway culture
      • Climate as a common good
    2. The Issue of Water
    3. Loss of Biodiversity
    4. Decline in the Quality of Human Life and the Breakdown of Society
    5. Global Inequality
    6. Weak Responses
    7. A Variety of Opinions
  • News Update:
    • On Earth Peace — PeaceDay, Monday, September 21
    Pope Francis to Visit the United States
    • White House Reception, Wednesday, September 23
      • Interfaith Power and Light prayer vigil, Arkansas House of Prayer
    • Address Joint Session of U.S. Congress, Thursday, September 24
    • Address United Nations General Assembly, Friday, September 25
    • World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia, Saturday, September 26-27

environment collage


  1. Pope Francis has set his encyclical in continuity with the teaching of previous popes and other religious leaders. How has this fact influenced my reading of the monograph?
  2. The encyclical has been embraced by leaders from faith traditions around the globe. What does this endorsement mean to me? What criticisms of the encyclical concern me?
  3. What is "attractive and compelling" about Saint Francis of Assisi in this context?
  4. Has pollution affected me or my family personally? If so, how?
  5. How does the term "throwaway culture" describe my community or my society?
  6. How do I think differently about "climate change" as a result of reading the encyclical?
  7. Why is biodiversity important to me? What are the threats to biodiversity?
  8. Am I able to think of water as a diminishing resource? How does this change my view of the future?
  9. How do I view the relationship between environmental degradation, the breakdown of society, and global inequality?


  1. Pope Francis has appealed for a dialogue about how are shaping the future of our planet.
    • How will I participate in the global conversation?
    • How will I contribute at the national, state, and local level?
    • How will I extend this conversation to my family, neighbors, and friends?
    • What conversations should take place in this room over the coming weeks?
    • What conversation will God have with me about our common future?
  2. What distractions dull my consciousness and tempt me to think that things don't look so serious?
  3. In what ways do I contrive to delay the important decisions and pretend that nothing will happen?


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