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Pope’s September intention: An environmentally sustainable lifestyle


The Pope Video

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 09/02/21

This month Pope Francis asks that Catholics adopt a simple and ecologically sustainable lifestyle.

This September, Pope Francis prays that we might make lifestyle changes that promote environmental sustainability based on responsible care, respect, simplicity, and austerity.

The Pope Video illustrating the Holy Father’s monthly intention, entrusted to the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, shows Pope Francis reflecting on the human roots of the ecological crisis and inviting us to consider the ways we use the material goods of creation.

The courage of young people will foster change

“Let us choose change,” prays the Holy Father. He focuses his petition on young people when he prays for change, since he considers young leaders to be on the forefront of environmental issues, and insists that they are the ones who “have the courage to undertake projects for environmental and social improvement.”

Pope Francis has written in Laudato si, “It would hardly be helpful to describe symptoms without acknowledging the human origins of the ecological crisis.” Today, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Holy Father exhorts us: “Let us reflect on how the way we eat, consume, travel, or the way we use water, energy, plastics, and many other material goods, is often harmful to the Earth.”

The Holy Father’s intention

It makes me very happy to see that young people have the courage to undertake projects for environmental and social improvement, since the two go together.

We adults can learn much from them, because in all matters related to care for the planet, they are at the forefront.

Let us take advantage of their example and reflect on our lifestyle, especially during these moments of health, social and environmental crisis.

Let us reflect on how the way we eat, consume, travel, or the way we use water, energy, plastics, and many other material goods, is often harmful to the earth.

Let us choose to change! Let us advance with young people towards lifestyles that are simpler and more respectful of the environment.

Let us pray that we all will make courageous choices, the choices necessary for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, taking inspiration from our young people who are resolutely committed to this. And they aren’t foolish, because they are committed to their own future. This is why they want to change what they will inherit at a time when we will no longer be here.


For his part, Fr. Fréderic Fornos, S.J., International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, commented: “Once again, Francis’ words cannot leave us indifferent. In the face of the ecological crisis, it is urgent that we change our lifestyle to make it reflect simplicity and solidarity. Are we aware of this urgency? When the Pope speaks to us of integral ecology, he’s telling us that everything is interconnected in our lives. Words are no longer enough to protect our common home. Let us pray that we will act with the courage of the young, to live a more austere and ecologically sustainable life that will ensure our future. In Laudato Si’, Francis proposes to us a path, a return to simplicity, to fraternity with Creation and those most in need.”

Pope Francis
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