To extend the week-long celebration of the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’ (observed from May 16 to 24, 2020), Development and Peace — Caritas Canada offered an introductory webinar on the 184-page encyclical.
Shortly after starting work as Development and Peace’s animator for Greater Montreal, Stefany Dupont found her hands full with the For our Common Home campaign. So much so that she did not have the time to read the encyclical that gave the campaign its name and theme.
To learn more about it, she took a Laudato Si’ animation workshop offered by the Global Catholic Climate Movement. That training inspired her to offer something similar to the wider public.
It was thus that Dupont came to offer the introductory webinar, “Laudato Si' 101: a plan for a better world” to members, donors and even some who knew neither the encyclical nor Development and Peace.
The French webinar, held on May 27, 2020, attracted over 50 participants. In delivering the English webinar on May 29, 2020, Dupont was joined by Rebecca Rathbone, animator for Southwestern Ontario, and Ontario Catholic schools program officer, Emily Pittman. Over 100 people from across Canada participated in the English webinar.
The goal of the webinar was to help participants achieve a reasonable understanding of the key messages of the long, complex encyclical without reading in its entirety. The webinar based on the “See, Judge, Act” approach favoured by Development and Peace, encouraged audience participation. It included an audio-visual interlude of spiritual reflection on nature, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi.