Laudato Si Action Platform

Transforming Grace: The Work of Transformative Justice

Beginning in November 2023 we USA Ursulines are in our third year of the Laudato Si Action Platform. Our focus for this year is to work to heal the division and violence in our own country.  Along with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, we are engaging our sisters in a collective discernment on “What is ours to do in this time?”
You are invited to join us in this effort and
to make use of all the reflection materials provided by LCWR.

The work of transformative justice is grounded in contemplation and is an engagement in learning the skills and practices that will lead to decision-making and action that leads to being in right relationship with Earth and all human persons.

“Transforming Grace” invites participants to take responsibility for the personal and collective responses we can make in the challenges we will encounter during the national election period.

To learn more and also have access to weekly/monthly reflection materials, go to the LCWR website:

In April 2024, LCWR hosted a Transforming Grace event and the two excellent keynotes ( Chris Koellhoffer, IHM and Elise Garcia, OP) are available on the LCWR  website:

We will also post the reflections here and you are encouraged to use and share these with any groups with whom you participate:


02.11.24 tranforming grace


The second year of our Laudato Si’ Action Platform commitment:

Our plan for this year is to concentrate on the pledge that we made last year. Each month we will focus on one element of the pledge, providing a reflection, a video and a zoom discussion going deeper and encouraging our sharing the actions and changes that we are making in our lives.

Click to Our Pledge

November is when we celebrate giving thanks, but we’d like to suggest that gratitude is much more than a holiday. Gratitude is a way of life. For your reflection this month we’d like to suggest a video by Louie Schwartzberg, who through his photography shows us the awe of nature that cultivates our response of gratitude.
Video by Louie Schwartzberg

Yes, our world is in turmoil but each day is a gift, an opportunity. Brother David’s Stop. Look. Go Practice gives us 5 small gestures of gratitude that can create a ripple effect to counteract the violence that surrounds us. 
Yes, gratitude can change everything.
Stop Look Go Practice

Litany for a More Expansive Gratitude

For the gifts of life, air, water, land and food,
And for those who care for your Creation,
Generous God, let us give thanks.

For the joy of family, friendship and community,
For your Spirit teaching us to forgive and love each other,
Generous God, let us give thanks. 

For the commitment of many to the hard work of justice and peacemaking,
For the courage and resilience of the Native peoples of this land,
Generous God, let us give thanks. 

For your sacred presence in each one of us,
For your love that binds us together,
Generous God, let us give thanks. 

May our hearts open to embrace the beauty and the pain of our human journey, and to receive your blessing and peace, today and everyday. 


Our October focus for the Laudato Si’ Action Platform is “to spend time in nature recognizing the wonder of creation”.  For October we are suggesting three possible reflection practices:

1. Visio Divina
 Many of you are probably familiar with Lectio Divina, a meditation practice using Scripture, but we’d like to suggest Visio Divina or Sacred Seeing. This ancient form of prayer continues to be a powerful form of meditation. Art, or in this case, nature becomes the sacrament that opens our hearts to the indwelling Spirit of God.
We invite you to gaze deeply on a scene in nature. Let yourself be there.
What is God drawing you to see? What is stirring in your heart?
What is God calling you to?
And what is your response to God’s touching your heart?
What is your prayer?
Finally just rest in communion with your Creator, who gifted you with all creation, the One who loves you into being. Bask in that love.

If you cannot be outside in nature, a video could be used: The Beauty of the God’s Creation (

2. Shinrin-Yoku, The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing
Forest Bathing is a form of ecotherapy or meditation, a slow mindful walk in nature using all the senses to notice your surrounding. Let yourself be immersed in nature, breathing in all that surrounds you. Let God walk with you… Breath in God and be at one.

You can even take a virtual walk in the forest using a video: Forest Bathing.

3. Pass on a Touch of Beauty
You might want to take/find a photo of a favorite spot of beauty in nature, place it on your prayer table or desktop so it continues to fill you with awe. Then share it on Facebook, email it to a friend or send it in a card to someone who may need an uplifting touch of beauty to inspire awe.

Our September Laudato Si’ Action Platform Focus was “to investigate more about the impact of my actions on climate change”.  We highly recommend the book:  Under the Sky We Make: How to be Human in a Warming World by Kimberly Nicholas.
Here’s a taste to draw your interest: Kimberly describes what we know well, the mindset of exploitation, but she suggests a better way: a regenerative mindset, working with rather than against nature and bringing out the best of ourselves and one another. In other words she proposes “bending our story from a legacy of harm to one of care”. She details 3 principles of a regenerative mindset: 1. Respect and care for people and nature. 2. Reduce harm at its source, not by treating its symptoms. 3. Turn our impulse to build toward the building of resilience.  Kimberly faces the stark reality of the climate crisis, but is also sure that we can fix it.  Guaranteed a good read!

Suggestions for further exploration:
1. Try the Cool Climate Calculator from Berkeley University:

2. Calculate your food footprint:

3. Check our Kimberly Nickolas’ website:

4. Watch a video presentation by Kimberly Nicholas:
(Note the talk is given in Sweden to museum folks, but Kimberly speaks in English and applicable to us)

Our August 2023 focus is “to engage with others in specific action to improve our local environment”. Here’s a brief video to inspire you: Ecosystem Restoration

After that jolt of inspiration, look around your locale and find something that needs action!! There may be a great number, but pick one thing that you can “get behind” and then find others that will join you. Then listen to Angela Merici: “ACT”!!

If you’re looking for some ideas, here’s a simple list of things that you can do from your own couch, your own home or even outside your home.

Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

Or if you need even more ideas, here’s another list:

30 acts of Mercy for Our Common Home
Here’s a little inspiration about an issue in every locale that is a major problem for our environment: The Problems with Single-use Plastic

Our July focus is learning more about the true costs and advantages of the “Green Economy”. You may groan about studying economics but simply put, green economy is all about everyone and everything thriving.

So let’s explore together how we might all thrive!
Kate Raworth gives us a succinct description of what she calls doughnut economy as a path to a safe and just space for humanity. Here’s a short video that will get you excited about economics! I kid you not!
Doughnut Economics

Here’s another even shorter video describing how to create a better economy.

If you are enthralled with the idea of Doughnut Economics,
you might want to explore Kate Raworth’s website. Look for  ANIMATIONS and you will find 9 very short animations explaining the core concepts of
Doughnut Economy.

Let’s look at just one everyday product and the true cost. Here’s a 6 minute video: True Cost of Fast Fashion  which will give you a quick view of the issues involved.  Here’s a little longer video (29 mins): The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion which will highlight the main scams with humor.

Let’s Ponder:
How is green economics like Angela and our Ursuline tradition?

What can you do in your local area? How can you practice/encourage regenerative economics?

Who should we ask to do something differently?

Our June focus: To Live Simply and Not Adopt  a Consumerist Mentality.

Many of you have probably seen the video “The Story of Stuff”. Well, the producers have gone on to suggest “The Story of Solutions” and we recommend that you watch that short but powerful video. If you want to dig deeper into the story of stuff project, go to their website: The story of stuff project.

We live in a culture where often the goal is MORE, but what if we changed that to a new goal: BETTER.  The story of stuff project is Community-Minded, Solution-Focused, and Action-Oriented.

Our Laudato Si Journey continued in May is the second statement in our Ursuline Laudato Si’ Promise: To recognize all of God’s creation as gift and worthy of care.  We encourage you to view a brief video (17 min) of Robin Wall Kimmerer where Robin uses the story of the creation of Turtle Island to highlight gratitude and reciprocity–strong medicines for our present day–pulling us into relationship and recognition of the personhood of all creatures.
Questions for a Resilient Future
 For your prayer and reflection: As you are praying this month about God’s creation, you might like to view Amanda Gorman’s poem
Our Purpose in Poetry: or, Earthrise.

Click here for the video of Amanda speaking Earthrise .
A song suggestion for your prayer: For the Beauty of the Earth

If you feel the need to bask in the beauty of God’s creation from your recliner, watch any David Attenborough film and enjoy!
Better yet, bask in the real thing!!!

We might all ponder: how can we reciprocate the gifts of the earth!!!

 In April  our focus was to advocate for those who lack the power to advocate for themselves.  You were encouraged to spend some time looking to those in our world who feel powerless and unseen.
To take us deeper into “advocating”, we invited you to ponder a video reflection by Ched Myers.

“Do You See This Woman: Some Thoughts on Advocacy”

The video (about 20 minutes) is a wealth of wisdom. Perhaps it will help to think about these questions:

1.  Who in our world needs to be seen?

2.  How do we turn the spotlight on these sisters and brothers in a way that inspires understanding and compassion?

Lenten Reflections 2023

This year instead of weekly reflections for Lent, our JPIC Team is offering two different calendars of brief daily reflections prepared by Father Terence Moran.
One is similiar to last year: Living a Laudato Si’ Lent 2023.
The other is in the spirit of the prayer of the Lakota People, “All My Relations” and we are invited to open our hearts to the whole world and to discover relationships of kinship with all beings:
All My Relations: A Heart Open to the Whole World

The Laudato Si Movement is providing a monthly prayer guide for 2023.
February Prayer Guide
January Prayer Guide

Advent: a Season of Hope

This Advent your JPIC Team will provide a reflection each week focusing on HOPE for our earth. Our desire is that you will be filled with renewed hope for our common home and you will be inspired to new actions to further protect and sustain our mother earth.

Ursuline Commitment Promise to Laudato Si

Many of us made this Promise on the Feast of St Francis 2022,
but it is a daily journey and we encourage you to pray this promise often.
Here is a video reflection that may help you with your commitment:

Journey to God’s Heart: A Prayer for Mother Nature

Have hope and firm faith in God, for God will help you in everything.”  Angela

   As a follower of Angela and a member of the Ursuline Family, I promise:
  ~ to advocate for those who lack the power to advocate for themselves
~ to recognize all of God’s creation as gift and worthy of care
~ to live simply and not adopt a consumerist mentality
~ to learn more about the true costs and advantages of the “green economy”
  ~ to engage with others in specific action to improve our local environment
   ~ to investigate more about the impact of my actions on climate change       
~ to spend time in nature recognizing the wonder of creation.

Roman Union Ursulines of the USA
Goals for 2022 of the Laudato Si Action Platform

  • To develop a vow/pledge of care for our common home that could be part of a prayer celebration on the Feast of St Ursula and utilized widely and often to keep the focus on LSAP 
  • To continue efforts to counter US history of colonialism and entitlement by reaching out in apology for our boarding schools and by building awareness of land injustice
  • To create a video focusing on Care for Our Common Home through an Ursuline perspective
  • To provide periodic cross provinces input/discussions via zoom that will explore and deepen our commitment to hear and respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor
  • To encourage our Ursuline schools to enroll in the Educational Institutions Sector of the LSAP by monthly or quarterly communications regarding LSAP efforts through our schools campus ministers
  • To research possible investment opportunities supporting ecological ventures


Lenten Reflections

Each week of Lent 2022 we will focus on one goal of the Laudato Si Action Platform (LSAP).

Encourage Community Resilience and Empowerment
Foster Ecological Spirituality
Develop Ecological Education
Adopt Sustainable Lifestyle
Support Ecological Economics
Respond to the Cry of the Poor
Respond to the Cry of the Earth

The Roman Union Ursulines of the United States Commitment
to the Laudato Si Action Platform


Laudato Si Action Platform Discernment

July 4th this year was the kick-off for our discernment journey into the goals of the
Laudato Si Action Platform.
Each week you will receive a one page reflection sheet
prepared by a member of the USA JPIC team.
Each day will highlight one of the 7 goals,
giving you a suggestion, an inspiration, a focus for your reflection.
We invite you to spend a few minutes each day diving deeper into
what that goal may be calling us to do.
You might want to make notes about what captures your attention.
We encourage you to share these reflections and your thoughts.
Thanks to the JPIC team members who prepared these reflections so we could get a better understanding of how we can respond to each
of the goals of the Laudato Si Action Platform.


Week of August 1

Week of July 4

What we are doing already to care for our common home

  • Conserve water: shorter and less showers, only full loads in washer and dishwasher, indoor water reused to water
  • Use Earth Breeze laundry sheets, don’t use palm oil products
  • Recycle everything, my own glass container rather than plastic water bottles, compost, reusable grocery bags, alternate storage container rather than single use plastics
  • Combine trips, when possible carpool or walk, hybrid car
  • Eat less meat, buy local produce, grown own vegetables and herbs, became a vegetarian
  • Take a daily walk, noticing all the beauty of creation, even the tiniest
  • I’m on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Community Corps ( PCC focuses on deconstructing old/blighted properties, and reusing the materials (bricks, lumber, paint, doors etc.) rather than putting them in a landfill. We also focus on job creation in the areas of construction and particularly, construction material recycling. I have a lot of fun with this organization and I love volunteering in general…which I have to attribute to my Ursuline education!
  • Since many of you mentioned use of plastics, you might want to participate in Plastic Free July, a sustainability challenge to encourage a plastic-free lifestyle for the month of July in efforts to help our planet. Check out this story on
  • Researched the rules on recycling in our city and held a meeting to explain the process to the community
  • Ordered biodegradable paper produces to be used at all meetings
  • Have participated in Plastic Free July the last 2 years.
  • Recently heard about fasting from electricity from a core member at Bethlehem Farm. I’ve chosen a day and each week try to do one additional thing to increase the fast. 

Examples of Advocacy

As members of Investor Associates for Social Justice (IASJ) we have been part of three campaigns:

1. Shifting Gears, an auto campaign that seeks to combat human trafficking and child labor in the workforce of many companies by monitoring their supply chains for the many products needed for cars.

2. Climate + Human Dignity. This campaign advocates for a just transition to a low-carbon economy and encourages companies to prevent negative impacts to communities most affected by climate change, environmental justice and resource extraction.

3. Racial Justice and Immigrant Rights. This campaign “ensures that companies prevent and mitigate any adverse impacts of business activities on communities of color and immigrant communities.”

  • We have invested money in a Climate Impact Solutions Fund
  • As members of Relilgious Organizatons Along the River (ROAR) We have advocated for Climate Justice issues along the Hudson River advocating for a safe plan for the shut down of the Indian Point Nuclear plant. We have also held several conferences on climate change inviting members of local climate groups to be present for days of reflection and mutual support.
  • As members of the group of religious congregations that supports Lifeway Network. One of our sisters was part of the founding community of a safe house. Several sisters were part of a cohort providing constant presence at the house as well as support in tutoring and helping with English enhancement. We also provided financial support.
  • We belong to Northern Plains which is a local environmental group.  It organizes and lobbies around water quality, family farms and ranches, climate change, clean energy, coal, oil, gas, soil health and more.  We participate in local actions.
  • We belong to and support projects of Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center.

Introducing the Laudato Si Action Platform
At a May 25 press conference, the Vatican introduced the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.  It is an ambitious churchwide initiative in the spirit of Francis’ 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” which emphasizes integral ecology.  Pope Francis calls us to develop a “loving awareness” of this home we share and to act on the values we hold dear.

The Ursuline Sisters across the United States along with other men and women religious have embarked on this 7 year journey of ecological conversion.  Here is our introduction to the Laudato Si Action Platform and the beginnings of our journey. See the brief video below to learn more about the Laudato Si Action Platform:

Laudato Si Action Platform Intro