Photo submitted by Sister Tess
“With regard to this ecological conversion, I would like to share with you the way in which the convictions of faith offer Christians great motivations for the protection of nature, as well as of the most vulnerable brothers and sisters because I am certain that science and faith, which propose different approaches to reality, can develop an intense and fruitful dialogue.” (Pope Francis, Sept. 3, 2020, to a delegation of ecologists)
Sister Tess says in her story that as a high school environmental biology teacher, science provided the information and her faith provided the motivation to advocate for the environment and for the people who are suffering from pollution and planetary warming. Pope Francis echoes this feeling in his encyclical Laudato Si’, which focuses on the idea of “integral ecology”, that all of creation is related, and that our existence or demise depends on the health of all of creation.
How can the principles and lessons of science deepen our insight into the gift of Creation? How can our faith work hand-in-hand with scientific knowledge to move us toward prayer and action? As you reflect on these ideas, draw a picture either in your mind or on paper of what an intimate relationship looks like between all of creation, related to and dependent on one another.