From the Editor: Protecting the Earth

In his environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis introduces the concept of integral ecology. While he didn’t coin the term, the pope goes to great lengths to explain “everything is closely interrelated, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis.” An integral ecology, he says, includes human, environmental, economic and social dimensions, “so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

In this issue we highlight Maryknoll’s response to the global environmental crisis, which along with the threat of nuclear weapons is widely regarded by scientists as one of the “twin existential threats” to life on earth as we know it. We focus on the commitments of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and Maryknoll Sisters to live out the pope’s call to care for our common home.

To that end, we are excerpting part of the Maryknoll Society’s guiding document from its 14th General Chapter, which elected new leadership in July and set direction for the next six years. In the document, the Society pledges clearly and beautifully to “integrate the care of creation in all that we are and all that we do” on both personal and communal levels.

This powerful statement is a testament to how the promise of the pope’s seminal encyclical – to “bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development” – is already bearing fruit.

“For,” as Pope Francis writes, “we know that things can change.”

About the author

Lynn F. Monahan

Lynn F. Monahan is editor-in-chief of Maryknoll magazine and served as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Peru in the 1990s. A graduate of Syracuse University, he has worked for newspapers and newswires, including The Associated Press and Bloomberg News. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Manhattanville College, and is the author of the award-winning novel Pistaco: A Tale of Love in the Andes. Twitter: @LFMonahan