Laudato Si’ Week Australia: 16 – 24 May 2022 

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Laudato Si' Week 16-24 May

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Why are the dates for the celebration of Laudato Si’ Week in Australia different from those on the international Laudato Si’ Week website? Last May the Australian Bishops decided to celebrate Laudato Si’ Week from 16 – 24 May during each year of their seven-year Laudato Si’ Action Plan journey. These dates allow both Laudato Si’ Week, and National Reconciliation Week from 27 May – 3 June, to be celebrated appropriately by Australian Catholics. The dates were announced in the Social Justice Statement Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor

Previously, Laudato Si’ Week was celebrated internationally to mark the first anniversary of the encyclical. The next Laudato Si’ Week was not celebrated until the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’ in 2020. This was part of the Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year. The third international Laudato Si’ Week marked the end of that Special Anniversary Year. In each instance the dates varied. 

The first Laudato Si’ Week was held 12-19 June 2016. Although the encyclical is dated 24 May 2015, it was officially published on 18 June 2015. The dates for this first celebration reflect the publication date rather than the official promulgation date. In 2020, Laudato Si’ Week was celebrated 16 – 24 May and in 2021, the dates were 16 – 25 May. 

When the Australian Bishops took their decision to celebrate an annual Laudato Si’ Week in Australia, no decision had yet been made by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development on whether this special week would become an annual international event, and if so, on which dates. In mid-March 2022, the dates for the international Laudato Si’ Week 2022 were published on the Laudato Si’ Week website. 

Stable annual celebration dates will enable our Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace to prepare prayer and reflection materials for Laudato Si’ Week in a timely manner each year fulfilling our commitment in Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor. 

It is common for international celebrations in the Catholic Church to be celebrated at separate times in various parts of the world. For example, in Australia we celebrate Word of God Sunday on the first Sunday in February whereas other countries celebrate it on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. Bishops Conferences make these decisions taking into consideration the pastoral needs of local communities. 

Our prayer, reflection, and action materials for Laudato Si’ Week 2022 are labelled for each day from 16 to 24 May, but they can be used at any time. You may choose to use one, some or none of them and adapt them to suit your context or needs. 

While fostering right relationships with First Peoples should be part of our response to Laudato Si’ Goal Two, responding to the cry of the poor, Reconciliation Week is a major national event that draws attention to a fundamental question of justice in Australian society. It should not be displaced by or simply subsumed into other celebrations. 

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM (Conv) 
Chair, Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service 
Bishop of Parramatta