On this feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, the Office for Human Dignity of the Diocese of Joliet is excited to announce that we are launching a new ministry dedicated to the care for creation and addressing the climate crisis. Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment published in 2015, Laudato Si’ Ministries of the Diocese of Joliet will begin on October 15th, 2019.
Laudato Si’ Ministries will use the lens of Catholic Social Teaching to approach agriculture, environmental, food sustainability, climate, and rural life issues. Through Scripture and Church teachings, we will seek to provide principled guidelines for faithful practices. The objective of this ministry is to develop a holistic approach to environmental justice and the implementation of Laudato Si’ in our local diocese, parishes, schools, and communities. We will do this through educational and pastoral support, policy and legislation, creating community, and sustainable food sources for the poor and vulnerable.
Laudato Si’ Ministries will be spearheaded by a Program Director, a role that will be filled by Kayla Jacobs, the current Relief and Development Coordinator for our Justice and Peace Ministry. Kayla brings to this ministry many years of experience working on environmental issues and a deep passion for nature and conservation. Kayla has lived and worked at organic and sustainable farms in Appalachia and currently at the Nativity House Catholic Worker Farm. She has advocated for the environment on the federal, state, and local level. She is also an avid outdoorswoman and enjoys spending all of her free time either working in the garden or hiking, rock climbing, camping, and paddling, all done in awe of God’s gift of nature.
Our office is very grateful for the generosity of the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters for their support to begin this new ministry through their Wheaton Franciscan Sisters Ministry Fund. We would also like to thank Bishop R. Daniel Conlon for his continued support and encouragement. If you are interested in getting involved with Laudato Si’ Ministries or would like to welcome Kayla to her new role feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for more details in the coming days!
Happy Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, brothers and sisters!