Community Articles

An Economy for the Common Good

Posted July 1, 2022

Ecological Economics, the third Laudato Si’ Goal, acknowledges that the economy is a sub-system of human society, which itself is embedded within the biosphere — our common home.

This goal encourages us to look at the ways businesses produce and distribute goods, instilling us with hope in successfully changing ecologically damaging modes of operation by “forcing them [businesses] to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of production.”

It also challenges us to examine our own levels of consumption and waste, serving as a profound reminder of “the great need for a sense of social responsibility on the part of consumers.” (LS, 206)

Pope Francis is clear in his encyclical Laudato Si’

“Purchasing is always a moral — and not simply economic — act … the issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyle.” (LS, 206)

The Mary Ward JPIC Office — women walking in the footsteps of Venerable Mary Ward, founder of the Congregatio Jesu (CJ) and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) — has created a Laudato Si’ Plan on the Laudato Si’ Action Platform ripe in the actions of Ecological Economics.

Carrying forward the ministry Mary Ward started in 1609, the Mary Ward JPIC Office is comprised of networks that promote human life and dignity, and protection of the environment and solidarity, with congregations from India to Argentina, Zimbabwe to Canada, United Kingdom to Peru, and USA to South Africa.

See the list below for a sample of actions both big and small that the Mary Ward JPIC Office is undertaking in response to ecological economics. We hope it inspires you to put your own Laudato Si’ Plan into action right where you are.

10 Mary Ward Congregational Actions in Response to Ecological Economics

  1. Taking care of personal and common things and restraining from buying things that are not needed.
  2. Encourage students to not buy goods that are prepared by exploiting the poor children.
  3. Promote local economy and accept its limitations, make an effort to cultivate local seeds rather than genetic modified seeds, using kitchen gardens.
  4. Join movements and collaborate with other networks to address root causes of poverty.
  5. Re-using things and refrain our desire to buy more.
  6. Purchase fair trade coffee.
  7. Continually learning about the impact of extractive or exploitative industries on the environment and exploring province finances in relation to same.
  8. Working toward province-wide ethical procurement guidelines.
  9. Strong engagement with groups that prevent child labor.
  10. Strong engagement with an anti-trafficking commitment.

The above examples are just a sample of the many, many tangible Mary Ward JPIC Office responses to Ecological Economics and all the Laudato Si’ Goals.

You can see the complete Mary Ward Family Living Laudato Si’ 7-Year Action Plan here.

Ultimately, the Mary Ward JPIC Office’s extensive commitment is, in the words of their Action Plan, “creative and innovative activities to save Mother Earth.”