In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis writes that “each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right” (LS 33).
The Pope’s encyclical reminds Catholics and all people of goodwill of something that many of us have forgotten about: that caring for our brother and sister species is fundamental to our lives as people of faith and as global citizens.
And yet, in 2019, an international group of scientists predicted that up to one million plant and animal species face extinction due to human activities. This mass extinction has already started, and it will be more severe and longer lasting than any previous mass extinction event.
That’s why the Missionary Society of St. Columban created ‘Jubilee for the Earth’, a podcast mini-series about the beauty of biodiversity and the threats it faces.
Biodiversity is the stunning variety of life on Earth. This variety exists at the genetic level, the species level, and the ecosystem level. The complex interactions between these levels have made Earth habitable for billions of years. The study of biodiversity has shown that every member of creation is interconnected.
Over the course of six episodes, we explore the spirituality of biodiversity, how our economic system is the root cause of biodiversity loss, and so much more
This study guide is a companion to the podcast and can be used by an individual or a group. It includes three reflection questions and one activity for each episode.
If you choose to use this study guide in a group setting, we suggest listening to or watching the episode before you meet, so you’ll have more time to discuss it with one another. Each episode is only 20 minutes long.
You may also want to set aside some time at the beginning of each meeting to talk about your experiences completing the activity from the previous week.