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Gift, Gratitude, and Joy Program 

Gift, Gratitude and Joy is a six-session program that takes participants through the main themes of Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si'. The series is designed for small group discussion, either in person or remotely, and can be adapted to larger groups with breakouts into small groups for sharing. Each session builds upon the previous themes and is designed to be 90 minutes in length, however you can customize the material and length to suit your group.
Where do I start?
Begin by viewing the Program Overview Document and the Program Guide. All resources for the sessions can be found below. 
What is the cost?
All resources here and on the Waukesha County Creation Care Network (WCCCN) page are free for you to use with registration. Please register HERE.

The WCCCN has members available to facilitate this program in your parish or congregation for a fee. Please contact us at WCCCN@waukeshacountygreenteam.org to explore that option or if you have any questions about this program.
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What is Laudato Si'?

Click on a Session for Resources and Links

Resources and Links

Session 1

The Gospel of Creation

Considering Water

Welcome

Getting out of a Bind Game

Explore

CST 101 - Care for God's Creation [Runtime 3:04]

Making It Real

God's Gift of Water

Sending Off With An Adventure

  1. Calculate water usage & thank God for the gift of clean water.

  2. Fast from water. Choose a water conservation suggestion from this Stewardship List & pray for those who do not have access to clean water.

  3. Read and reflect on Wisdom 13:1-5. Choose an activity of your own that stems from this text.

  4. Read this CBS news article about animal population decline and consider what you will do knowing what you now know about human effects on creation.

  5. Spend time outdoors meditating on perspective: Outdoor Perspective Meditation Instructions

  6. Read Laudato Si’: Introduction paragraphs 1-16, Chapter 1 paragraphs 17-61, and Chapter 2 paragraphs 62-83.

Session 2

How We Know God, 

A Franciscan Perspective

Considering Food

Explore

How we know god, A Franciscan Perspective with Fr. John Celechowski [Runtime 14:20]

 

Making It Real

The Food Waste Quiz

Sending Off With An Adventure

  1. Fast from meat this week and remember our brothers and sisters who don’t have access to meat.

  2. Collect and weigh all food wasted in your household this week.

  3. Read and reflect on Philippians 2:1-13. Choose an activity of your own that stems from this text.

  4. Read this article about America's Food Waste Problem and consider what you will do knowing what you now know about equitable access to food and food waste. 

  5. Write or sketch your own Canticle of Praise for Creation.

  6. Read Laudato Si’: Chapter 2 paragraphs 84-100.

 

Closing Prayer

Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon (~St. Francis of Assisi) by John Michael Talbot [Runtime 3:58]

Session 3

Sharing Gift With Gratitude

Considering Waste

Explore

 

"Sharing Gift with Gratitude" a guided meditation

 

(This replaces the Catherine Orr video from the program guide)

Making It Real

Where Does It Go?

Sending Off With An Adventure

  1. Watch the story of bottled water and consider what you will do knowing what you now know about human effects on creation.

  2. Inventory your pantry and consider what packaging can be eliminated by changing your purchasing habits, and what should be recycled versus landfilled.

  3. Fast from single use plastics (bottled water, bags, ziplocks, straws, plasticware, and styrofoam) and thank God for all God has provided.

  4. Take a garbage bag with you on walks to pick up litter.

  5. Read and reflect on 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. Choose an activity of your own that stems from this text.

  6. Spend time in prayer looking at nature: Visio Divina.

  7. Read Laudato Si’: Chapter 3 paragraphs 101-136.

Closing Prayer

Play the song or watch the music video “Majestic” [Runtime 2:49]

Session 4

Finding Joy in Simplicity

Considering Consumption

Explore

Finding Joy in Simplicity with Joe Meyer [Runtime 19:52]

 

Making It Real

Understanding Hidden Resource Use

Sending Off With An Adventure

  1. Watch the story of stuff and consider what you will do knowing what you now know about human effects on creation.

  2. Choose a waste reduction opportunity from this Stewardship List and pray for more simplicity in your life.

  3. Determine how you can fast from our 102 ton legacy by simplyfing and reducing consumption.

  4. Calculate your ecological footprint for ideas on how to reduce consumption.

  5. Read and reflect on 1 Timothy 4:4-5. Choose an activity of your own that stems from this text.

  6. Take a prayer walk in nature: Prayer walk instructions.

  7. Read Laudato Si’: Chapter 4 paragraphs 137-162.

Closing Prayer

Play the song or watch the music video “Everything is Holy Now” [Runtime 4:55] 

Session 5

We are "All in All" in God

Considering Energy

Explore

We are "All in All" in God with Debra Schneider [Runtime 20:01]

 

Making It Real

Environmental Justice Activity

Sending Off With An Adventure

  1. Fast from energy (consciously reduce your usage by choosing from this Stewardship List) and pray for those who are negatively affected by the burning of fossil fuels.

  2. Read and reflect on Ephesians 4:1-6. Choose an activity of your own that stems from this text.

  3. Calculate your carbon footprint. Consider how you can reduce your footprint.

  4. Use the EPA's mapping tool to further explore how your actions impact your neighbors.

  5. Find a comfortable place outside to listen to a guided meditation

  6. Read Laudato Si’: Chapter 5 paragraphs 200-201 and Chapter 6 paragraphs 202-246.

Closing Prayer

Watch the video “Earthrise.” [Runtime 4:29]

Session 6

Seeing with New Eyes

Explore

Choose from the following Options:

  1. Restoring Relationships, a guided discussion

  2. Find a Guest Speaker - Contact WCGT

  3. Resources for Beginning a Creation Care Ministry

  4. Dreamcasting Exercise

  5. Watch and Discuss Alice's Garden [Runtime 9:33]

  6. Further Exploring Laudato Si

Making It Real

Bringing It Home

Build Your Own Adventure

  1. Conduct an Ecological Examination of Conscience.

  2. Get involved in a local organization, such as the Waukesha County Green Team, the Waukesha County Creation Care Network, or your parish creation care ministry.

  3. Pick one simple act from this Stewardship List, followed by another, and another.

  4. Read Laudato Si individually or as a group using this US Conference of Catholic Bishops discussion guide.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Program Presenters

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Father John Celichowski

Director of the North American Pacific Capuchin Conference (NAPCC) Novitiate in California.

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Catherine Orr

Pastoral Associate at Lumen Christi Parish in Mequon, WI; Program Coordinator for the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors

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Joe Meyer

Executive director of Laudato Si' Project, Teacher at Marquette High School, Milwaukee, WI

Debra Schneider

President, Waukesha County Green Team, Waukesha, WI

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