human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

Faith and Action

Co-creating a common home:
grassroots participation in developing flourishing communities

We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

(LS #49)

Welcome to the latest issue of Faith and Action!

One of the pressing issues democratic societies are currently facing is how to enhance people’s participation in contributing to the co-creation of the common home. Active grassroots participation means people get involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns to cities to nationwide activity.

Four years after the publication of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on the care for our common home, the Pontiff’s prophetic words continue to ring in our ears: ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’ (LS, 160). While echoing Pope Francis’ appeal for action, in this issue we explore a few links between human ecology and grassroots participation. Read here the reflections of the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development Cardinal Turkson on the urgent need for a serious dialogue about our common home, and a powerful response to the pressing social matters is out together by young people of the ‘Laudato Si’ Generation’.

This serious appeal to all people in various walks of life to get into concrete action and thus participate actively in the transformation of the society and the church is explored here by Johan Verstraeten and Joseph Galstian. The reflections on the possible sustainable reforms within the Catholic Church are given here by Patrick Debucquois. The concrete steps and attitudes, which create a way that empowers and inspires people to act from their hearts while employing their talents and capacities for the best of all are proposed by Pavel Chalupnicek, Janusz Sukiennik and Anna Yakimovich.

To celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, read here Pope Francis’ message encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home. Reflect on the meaning of this call together with Caritas Europa’s President Luc Van Looy, and join in prayer together with the Catholic Climate Movement during the Season of Creation.

Get inspired by the examples of active participation in co-creation of our common home from Caritas Biella and Caritas Ukraine. More examples of participation can be found in our Grassroots Participation Handbook. In case you have not yet read it, here is a review from Francesca for you.

Enjoy reading!




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Contact Maryana Hnyp
Institutional Development Officer
Editor of Faith and Action

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about the platform

This platform provides a space for in-depth interdisciplinary and ecumenical reflection. The focus is on the relationship between the Catholic Church’s praxis and the social thought coming from various Caritas organisations. It allows for practical and academic exchange on how to better develop this relationship for the mutual benefit of all. The platform is designed around concrete urgent social themes, offering serious, respectful and innovative reflections on bridging religious praxis and contemporary societies. Faith and Action offers a forum for the voices of diverse people of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It offers concrete examples, records current research and assesses the relevant literature.

The opinions expressed in the articles here are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of Caritas Europa.

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