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The Response to the Cry of the Poor is a call to promote eco-justice, aware that we are called to defend human life from conception to death and all forms of life on Earth. Actions could include projects to promote solidarity, with special attention given to vulnerable groups such as indigenous communities, refugees, migrants, and children at risk; analysis and improvement of social systems; and social service programs.

Our Contemplative Reflection for November focused on the second goal of the Laudato Sí Action Platform: Response to the Cry of the Poor.  Where has that reflection taken you?

Our Holy Father Pope Francis, our patron grandfather Alphonsus, and our heavenly Father all call us to take seriously our responsibility toward our neighbor, particularly the poorest among us. In the Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Fifth World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis tells us that “Jesus not only sides with the poor; he also shares their lot.” If we desire to follow Christ, we must embrace the poor of this world, for they are “a sacrament of Christ; they represent his person and point to him.”

 As a young lawyer, St. Alphonsus joined young noblemen in visiting and caring for sick patients at Naples Hospital for the Incurable. Perhaps this was the genesis of his calling to minister to the most abandoned poor. On the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Alphonsus as Doctor of the Church, Pope Francis credits Alphonsus’ triumph as a moral theologian to his listening to and accepting the weaknesses of those persons most abandoned spiritually. Repeatedly, Pope Francis emphasized the mutual dependence we have with the poor. We are not to see ourselves as saviors to the poor, but rather, we are to be evangelized by them.

 “The poor you will always have with you.” Mk. 14:7

We do not have to look very hard to find the poor around us. They sleep in our streets, sit in our classrooms, call us family, and reside in our convent homes. That is the reality, but do we see them, do we reach out to them, and do we let them give to us?

In Laudato Sí, Pope Francis offers us a three-pronged method of analysis: seeing our global situations, judging them in light of the Gospel message, and acting to promote justice and improve the situation.

Apply the three-pronged method as you view these videos which give a global view of how the poor are suffering the brunt of the pandemic and the effects of global warming:

Farmers in Assam, India cannot keep ahead of the floods. What is Happening in Madagascar?

SEE         What did you see? What disturbed you? What moved you to compassion? What stirred feelings of remorse?

JUDGE    What does the Gospel tell us about situations like that happening in India and Madagascar? (reflect)

ACT        What can we, who live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, do about poverty at home and in other countries? What difference can we make?

 Prayer for the Poor

God of Abraham, everywhere we go we see Lazarus.
But we also see so many doors, doors that separate us from Lazarus.
Lord, teach us to open those doors to Lazarus, to the poor,
to help them find a just share of your bounty.
Help us all to turn to those outside our door, to bless, heal and comfort them.
Help us to build a world together, where the poor are strangers to none,
and the very chains of poverty are broken. Amen.

(Adapted from Catholic Relief Services)

Additional Links
The Pope: Saint Alphonsus, a teacher of mercy for the evangelization of the least Pope Francis marks the 150th Anniversary of St. Alphonsus as Doctor of the Church

Full episode: The Effect of Climate Change on India

 Laudato Sí Committee November 23, 2021



Contemplative Reflection October 2021

ArticleFebruary 2021: Reflections on Diversity. Equity and Inclusion Student Affairs SUNY Empire State College (  

Ponder: The author writes: “The courage to have difficult but mutually respectful conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion should resonate in these unpredictable times” [Matthews, Conclusion] 
Question: In what ways are you invited to go beyond cultural sensitivity to a mindfulness geared toward new actions regarding cultural competence