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Canisius commits to Vatican-led Initiative, Laudato Si’


Canisius College was one of the first universities in the United States to commit to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 ecological encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.” 

The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is a Vatican-led initiative, in collaboration with several partners, to empower the universal Church to achieve total sustainability in the holistic spirit of integral ecology. The goal is to have various partners with the Church agree to a seven-year journey toward sustainability.

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development launched the enrollment phase of the platform on Nov. 14, the Global Day of Prayer for the Poor. This day is a deeply meaningful symbol of the platform’s commitment to serving those who are most vulnerable to the consequences of our socio-ecological crisis.

“Canisius College is committed to Pope Francis’ seven-year journey toward integral ecology at every-level,” said John J. Hurley, president of Canisius College.  “We look forward to sharing this journey with fellow universities around the world as we take action together for the care of our common home.”  

Canisius established a strategic plan for environmental sustainability in 2019. The Laudato Si’ initiative will complement and enrich the goals and objectives of the college’s sustainability strategy, which focus on tackling opportunities across campus that support environmental and social justice initiatives and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

As a Laudato Si University, Canisius will chart its own course through the journey, with the assistance of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. Over this next year, the college will gather a group of faculty, staff, administrators, neighbors and students to develop a Laudato Si’ Action Plan that will integrally and boldly advance each of the seven Laudato Si’ goals:  

Respond to the cry of the earth, Respond to the cry of the poor, Foster ecological economics, Adopt a sustainable lifestyle, Offer ecological education, Develop ecological spirituality, and Support local communities.

“The Canisius community is proud to play a role in advancing this timely and significant Vatican initiative,” added Hurley. “It is particularly rewarding to see our students’ commitment, including our Undergraduate Student Association members who passed a formal resolution to have the college engage in this process.”