Laudato Si' Week: Planting Seeds of Hope in our World

Every year the Catholic Church marks the anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical Laudato Si’. From the 19th – 26th of May we celebrate what is means to care for our common home.

In 2023, Pope Francis released a ‘sequel’ to his famous letter called Laudate Deum which reminds us of the urgent need to act.

This year the theme of Laudato Si’ Week centres around ‘seeds of hope’. We are called to consider how we can plant and nurture seeds to be the hope that the world needs during this time of suffering for our planet (Laudate Deum, 2).

How is Caritas Australia planting ‘seeds of hope in our world?’

Chiquito can now produce a wide variety of crops and earn income to support his family. Photo: Tim Lam/Caritas Australia

Climate change is altering rainfall patterns all around the world. Growing seasonal temperatures are also contributing to reduced yields from farming. In Timor-Leste, one of Australia’s closest nations, these changing rainfall patterns and increased temperatures will also disrupt food production and impact subsistence farmers like Chiquito.

Our partners in Caritas Diocesana Maliana are helping Chiquito to learn a variety of farming techniques to help increase production and access markets. Chiquito has learnt about sustainable agriculture which has allowed him to use his land to grow a greater variety of crops. He has also learnt business skills to sell his produce at the markets in Dili, helping him generate income for his family. This is helping them improve their livelihoods.

Chiquito’s improved income has meant he can buy other food and medicines for his two children, sisters, his mother and his nieces and nephews. He is now a role model within his community and employs two other local farmers to work with him on the farm.

Having a variety of crops that can survive periods of hot and wet weather has increased Chiquito’s resilience to the changing climate and provided seeds of hope for the future.

How can you help to plant seeds of hope in your community?

This year during Laudato Si’ Week, we are calling everyone to act by engaging in our Together We: Tree of Life campaign action.

The Together We campaign invites us to connect with our local Members of Parliament on how together, we can care for our common home. In the spirit of fraternal cooperation, we want to encourage our politicians to commit to impactful climate action including:

  • committing $4 billion annually for global climate finance
  • $100 million to the Loss and Damage Fund
  • Advocating for the equitable phase out of coal, oil and gas through endorsing the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

To do this, write your message on a leaf and add it to the ‘Tree of Life’. You can share information about how your community is helping to plant seeds of hope and encourage politicians for any wonderful works you see them doing to care for creation.

Share your tree on social media using #TogetherWeBelong, and don't forget to tag Caritas Australia, your local MP, @catholicearthcareaustralia and @iamcaritas

Prayer and reflection resources for Laudato Si’ Week.

Laudato Si’ Week is a time to reflect on how to care for our common home and a time to pray that we may become seeds of hope for our world.

To help you do this, we have created Laudato Si’ goal reflection cards to accompany you on this prayer journey.

Download reflection cards

We must remember that ‘There are no lasting changes without cultural changes… and there are no cultural changes without personal changes’ (Laudate Deum, 70).

Chiquito with his wife, Maria, and two-year-old daughter, Carabela, outside their home in Timor Leste. Photo: Tim Lam/Caritas Australia
Chiquito with his wife, Maria, and two-year-old daughter, Carabela, outside their home in Timor Leste. Photo: Tim Lam/Caritas Australia