NDB recognizes Laudato Si’

The Hallmarks in Action board acknowledged Laudato Si’ during the week of October 7 to 11. It refers to an encyclical or letter written by Pope Francis in 2015, titled “On Care for our Common Home (Laudato Si’).” This letter calls all people to respect the environment and take action against global climate change. The NDB community recognized the message by learning to appreciate and celebrate the environment. 

On October 7 and 8, Spiritual Life classes dedicated an entire period to learn about the meaning of Laudato Si’ in conjunction with activities planned by the Hallmarks in Action board. 

“This year was our first year in charge of planning and raising awareness about Laudato Si’, so we really wanted to step up from previous years,” senior Brianna Nunn said. “I made the video, and we raised awareness by taking time in our religion classes to discuss what contributes to making Laudato Si’ important. Also, there were activities given to each class. For example, seniors were given a hike around nature to expand our knowledge on Laudato Si.’” 

The video was a short documentary explaining the intentions of Laudato Si’, discussing statistics regarding global climate change, and offering suggestions on how students can help the environment on a daily basis. After watching this video, students went on nature walks around campus, meditated, or visited the chapel to discuss and reflect on where they feel calm in nature. 

On October 8, NDB celebrated “Blessing of the Animals” in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Students, faculty, and staff brought their pets to school between 7:50 and 8:20 AM to be blessed by sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. 

“It’s always nice to see everybody’s pets come to school. If pets make us happy at home, then it’s really cool that, for a quick morning, they can make everyone here happy, too,” Social Sciences teacher Jonathan Tomczak said. 

The Hallmark in Action Board chose to spotlight just this week but hopes that the lessons learned about the community’s role in respecting the environment can be carried on throughout the rest of the school year. Some students continued to take action against climate change this month by attending the SMCOE Environmental Youth Leadership Summit on October 12. This event included workshops focused on designing community solutions to the climate crisis and helped students connect to other environmental advocates across the country.