Moving More Deeply Into Ecological Conversion
Holy Cross Retreat Center has formed a Laudato, Si' committee to promote education, ecological conversion, and action on the goals of the encyclical.

Moving More Deeply Into Ecological Conversion

Responding to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, Holy Cross Retreat Center, located near Las Cruces NM, formed a committee to promote education, ecological conversion, and action on the goals of the encyclical. 

Friar Tom Smith talks about how the committee began and shares a few examples of what they have been able to do:

Also, here’s a brief report of some of the things they were able to accomplish in 2022. (This is an excerpt from a report prepared by the Reverend Canon Dr. Henry L. Atkins, Jr., an Episcopal priest and eco-theologian who is helping to coordinate an area response to the encyclical in Las Cruces.)

The year began with a study series reflecting on the Laudato Si’goals. The study sessions enabled us to move deeper into the goals themselves. Our regular meetings begin with prayer and a theological reflection, helping us move more deeply into “ecological conversion.” The discussions at our meetings enable us to become clearer about what we can undertake as an organization without engaging in the organizational error of overextension. As a group we have also realized the importance of the actions of individual members, which may not be collective actions. 

Some of the collective actions in which we participated during the past year include:

  • an Earth Day ecumenical service and an Earth Day educational event, which included speakers from various local ecological groups, and the planting of a tree,
  • working with various clergy and parishes on ecological issues, including consultations on solar panels and educational events,
  • meeting with various local leaders about the Laudato Si’Goals, including the leadership of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Las Cruces,
  • working with New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, and becoming a member of their advocacy group,
  • having a highly visible presence at the Franciscan Arts Festival at Holy Cross where we were able to give out several hundred cards, which contained a representation of our new Franciscan mural on one side and the Laudato Si’ Goals on the other,
  • the showing of the movie The Letter,
  • made contacts with other Laudato Si’ contacts in the States of New Mexico and Texas,
  • conducted Laudato Si’ retreats at Holy Cross,
  • Mass and sermon by Fr. Tom Smith OFM Conv. to a large group of students at the Newman Center at NMSU.

Read more about The Letter and watch the video –