The Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute will launch a Lenten series of free webinars on Thursday, Feb. 18, focusing on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sí (Praise Be To You): On Care for Our Common Home.

The six half-hour webinars are scheduled on Thursdays in Lent at 1 p.m. CST.* Those who can’t make any or all of the live webinars can register and watch the programs later at their convenience.                                  

Pope Francis’ encyclical was published in 2015, but its influence has continued to grow as the world’s attention turns ever more to the pressing issue of climate change.

Meanwhile, the UN has adopted an Agenda for Sustainable Development with man goals to be achieved by 2030 – now just nine years away. The agenda “is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity,” according to the UN.

“At stake is the ability of the planet Earth – our common home – to sustain life in the decades and centuries ahead. And that really is the most fundamental prolife issue confronting humanity,” said Dr. Owen Phelps, Director of the Yeshua Institute, who will host the series.

He conceded that one danger is the issue can become embroiled in politics, especially in the U.S.

“We can’t let that happen,” Phelps says. “The issue is much broader than politics. Indeed, as Pope Francis has noted, it is a fundamentally moral issue. Are we going to protect and try to rehabilitate our planet’s ability to sustain life, or are we going to let it continue to deteriorate ever more quickly?”

The webinar series will be organized around the six chapters in Laudato Sí, with the following topics to be considered:

  • Thurs., Feb. 18 -- The Challenge Before Us
  • Thurs., Feb. 25 -- The Gospel of Creation
  • Thurs., March 4 -- Human Roots of the Crisis
  • Thurs., March 11 -- A New Vision: Integral Ecology
  • Thurs., March 18 -- Lines of Approach and Action (including ideas for parishs)
  • Thurs., March 25 -- Education and Spirituality (Chap. 6)

The series wraps up the Thursday before Holy Week begins, so it won’t interfere with other activities going on then. Click here to register for the webinar.

* That’s 2 p.m. EST, noon MST, 11 a.m. PST