Ecology on Sundays: A resource guide for teaching and preaching (en Español)


To build a better world (Photo: R. Dueweke, Guatemala, 2018)

Pastoral Insights from Laudato Si , Querida Amazonia , Fratelli Tutti ,

And Resources from the United Nations


November 29, 2020 to November 21, 2021 –

Year B – Sunday Lectionary


Compiled by Robert Dueweke, O.S.A.

In fulfillment of project requirement for the Laudato Si  Animators Program

Sponsored by the Global Catholic Climate Movement




The year 2020 is a year most of us would like to forget. The global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) is the worse disease outbreak since the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago. Our lives have been turned upside down and we wonder if things will go back to the so-called “normal” times. The dreary statistics are well known: 1.4 million deaths with 260,000 deaths in the United States alone. As Advent 2020 begins, nearly 60 million global cases have been recorded, and the United States leads with 12.5 million, the highest of all the nations.

We live with new medical strategies that carry new anxieties and unknowns. Families are anxious about their children receiving an adequate education with the unfamiliar online learning environment. Those who are unemployed now find themselves in cars waiting   in the new “bread lines.” Our economic system and its baked- in inequalities are exposed for what they are. The political environment is more divided now than ever with populist and authoritarian movements spawning in many countries. Places of worship have not escaped the fallout of a runaway virus and the necessary shutdowns to protect public health. The face mask is now an addition to  our safety wardrobe, yet its proven efficacy is ignored by many.

Through the human exploitation of the planet’s resources a microscopic virus was unleashed into the natural environment and brought many-layered devastation. The pandemic is a stark reminder that everything is interconnected. What is our future? How will climate change affect the lives of our children and grandchildren and the Earth’s biome?

The answer to these questions depends on the choices we make today. One way to navigate these troubling waters is to turn to our tradition, especially to the scriptures and documents that are meant to be lights for our darkened path. A worthwhile approach to become acquainted with these teachings from tradition is to read them in the context of the lectionary, the yearlong cycle of scriptural readings through which we enter into the mystery of God, through the teachings and life of Christ.

This collection is a practical way to open the treasures of the Church’s pastoral thinking about questions that concern us: the natural environment and climate change, the extinction of species, the poor and the vulnerable, radical capitalism and consumerist lifestyles, technocratic societies, the fragility of democratic institutions, terrorism and nuclear war. In particular, we focus on Pope Francis’s writings on the environment: Laudato Si , Querida Amazonia , and Fratelli Tutti  because they address the issues confronting humanity and offer suggestions for building a better world beyond the time of the pandemic.

Accompanying the ecclesial writings are the diplomatic and academic resources at multilateral institutions like the United Nations.  In section 257 of Fratelli Tutti : On Fraternity and Social Friendship, Pope Francis draws the reader’s attention to the role of the United Nations and its Charter. He states that the United Nations is an “obligatory reference point of justice and a channel of peace.” For that reason, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, “Transforming our world”) and its anniversaries are highlighted at appropriate sections of this collection. We gratefully remember that in 2015 Pope Francis, through the publication of Laudato Si , influenced and promoted the UN’s SDGs as well as the Paris Climate Agreement. The Global Catholic Climate (GCCM) also contributed its influence at these critical junctures and continues to do so.

Homilists, educators and all parishioners can study these words, individually or in small groups (Zoom during the pandemic?), and derive inspiration and guidance from them. Then, in the context of the Sunday scriptures, the homily, the seasons and feasts, our prayer, current events, and global challenges come together in the liturgy. An average of three passages from Pope Francis’s writings are given for each Sunday. An SDG goal, with a hyperlink to its targets, is identified for each month. UN anniversaries are chosen to highlight global concerns and serve as points for reflection. These passages from Pope Francis’s writings and the resources from the UN can be used within homilies, as catalysts for the general intercessions, topics for religious education, and as reading for private reflection or for public discussion in post-Covid-19 faith-sharing groups. Immediately after this English introduction is a summary of the citations provided for Spanish readers. The English citation follows.

This collection is the result of fulfilling a requirement for the Laudato Si  Animators program of the Global Catholic Climate Movement. A second part of the collection, from June to November, is forthcoming. I would like to express my gratitude to those who have helped me put together this project, in particular, my friends in El Paso, Texas, Dr. Jean Ponder Soto, Marco Raposo, Odile Coirier, and from Seoul, South Korea, Young Mi Cho. Without them I would not have been able to have this collection completed in time for the First Sunday of Advent.

This year has had its challenges, but it also offers new possibilities. We have many reference points. We can take, read, pray and be guided by these documents and collections. Our choices make a difference. In fact, our future depends on them.

Robert F. Dueweke, O.S.A.

Permanent Representative of Augustinians International at the United Nations

DOWNLOAD THE 50-page text


Learning and Teaching Online

Due to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) many schools have turned to online learning and teaching platforms.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

We, in collaboration with students from Lehigh University, have provided links to resources to help facilitate the transition to the online environment, for both the educator and the student. These resources are for primary and secondary schools; some resources can be used for adult education. The resources provided cover the following:

  • Skills for teaching and using the online environment
  • Lessons on climate science and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • Courses and MOOCs from as well as SDGAcademy
  • Care of the Earth Resources for parishes
  • Programs in English and Spanish

Check out these resources under the tab “Projects” LINK

Send comments to Robert Dueweke at



AI Delegate Publishes on Asylum Situation

Delegate Favio Ramirez Caminatti publishes an article on the MPP situation along the U.S./Mexico border. His article, “Examining the Legality of the Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) can be accessed here:




Delegate for Augustinians International

Model UN — Hancock High School, Chicago

The Model UN is an excellent program to introduce high school students to the dynamics and issues of the United Nations. Students represent various countries and present issues of those nations in the form of debate. Chicago Hancock High School professor Andrew Martinek brought ten students to New York for a UN program last week. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet the students and answer questions as a NGO representative of Augustinians International. The Model UN can help students broaden their horizons on international concerns in a more globalized world.




Conversion as Transformation: a new book

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent and the call to conversion. Conversion is also about transformation. The United Nations is about the business of transformation toward a better and more beautiful world. Written by Dominic Arcamone, Conversion as Transformation: Lonergan, Mentors, and Cinema is an engaging book on self-development and the search for authenticity. The book can provide much inspiration during this season of Lent.

About the book:

The process of human transformation is complex and ongoing. This book presents a framework for understanding human transformation through the insights of Bernard Lonergan. The reader will be introduced to terms such as the turn to the subject, consciousness, subjectivity, and intersubjectivity. It will explore terms such as horizon, feelings, values, self-esteem, sublation, conversion, dialectic, and religious experience. The book explores transformation through the way mentors have authored their own lives, told their own stories, and taken possession of their interiority. Transformation is illuminated through the lives of saints and ordinary men and women who did extraordinary things, such as St. Augustine, Dag Hammarskjold, Vaclav Havel, Franz Jaggerstatter, St. Therese of Lisieux, Fredrich Nietzsche, Katherine Ann Power, and Marie Cardinal. Transformation is also illustrated through the medium of cinema: Babette’s Feast, The Mission, As It is in Heaven, Romero, Dead Poets Society, Ordinary People, The Godfather trilogy, Three Color trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dial M for Murder, and Twelve Angry Men. While the book treats religious, moral, affective, intellectual, and psychic conversion as moments of transformation, it argues that ecological conversion requires all of these so as to meet the most serious challenge of our time.

“Today the international order vibrates in dangerous uncertainty. Multilateralism is under attack. Toxic feelings and nationalistic ideologies contaminate digital space. Opinions and bias become ‘reality,’ truth is suspect and mendacity finds a home. Written in a clear style, Arcamone challenges the reader to explore the dynamics of desire and the critical link between the inner self growing in authenticity and its creation of beneficial exterior structures. If we want to change the world, we need to understand our attitudes, ways of thinking, valuing, and deciding. Coming to know ourselves this way reveals to ourselves what we need to change. New students as well as those more familiar with Lonergan’s insights will benefit from this important work. I highly recommend this book for anyone, especially diplomats and NGO representatives, who are in the business of changing structures and creating a better world.”—Robert Dueweke, OSA, NGO Representative to the United Nations

“Arcamone demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the multifaceted dynamics of conversion as he links highly developed insights to accessible themes, images, and symbols. Take up and read, you will enjoy the journey.”—John Francis Collins, Lecturer & Christian Life and Ministry Discipline Coordinator, Catholic Institute of Sydney

“Dominic Arcamone has written a profoundly pastoral, practical, and intriguing book of theology. In the quest for authenticity Dominic shows his creativity as a communicator by taking us on a cinematic tour of his favourite movies, drawing us into the conversion and transformation of characters and personalities which remind us of our own quest for authenticity.” —Dennis Carroll, Senior Pastoral Care Coordinator, Catholic Healthcare

Dominic Arcamone is a retired mission manager in healthcare. He has also been a sessional lecturer for the Australian Catholic University from 2007 to 2015, writing and teaching graduate and postgraduate courses in theological subjects. He has a B.Th., MTh, MA (Counseling and Pastoral Care), D. Min, Dip. Adult Training and Assessment, and PhD. Since the events of 9/11, he has also focused on the problem of religion and violence and published his first book with Wifp and Stock, Religion and Violence (2015).




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United Nations — 75th Anniversary

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary with the theme: Shaping our future together — 2020 and beyond. This is a time to pause and to ask ourselves what is the purpose of this global institution? Does the world need a UN? Do we embrace multilateralism and the democratic process? The Preamble to the UN Charter states that the purpose of the UN was to prevent war in the present and future generations.

For more information:


Testimony by Michael Stevanovich, Augustinians International youth representative from Lehigh University:

This Wednesday, six youth leaders from around the world sat on a panel with the Secretary-General at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday to share their visions for a future that includes the voices of everyone including youth from around the world. This event which placed students alongside ambassadors and prominent UN officials. Amongst the issues discussed were multilateralism, youth empowerment, and climate change. When addressing multilateralism, the panelists highlighted the key role that civil society must play in ensuring a United Nations that represents all voices. Furthermore, we must engage and educate those left behind by multilateralism to heal the divides in our global community. While this event was centered on Youth engagement, the panelist recognized we have much further to go, to address the most pressing issues facing our plant we must embrace Youth as decision-makers and not simply just consultant.

While this forum highlighted some of the key issues facing the next generation, it failed to outline a clear vision to address these issues. This is where Augustinians can play a key role in the UN. As a part of civil society, we must hold the leaders of the UN accountable to more than discuss these issues but rather demand a clear vision forward. To take the critical actions needed to address these key issues we must not only hear the voices of the powerful nations and the corporations but the margins in society that are most affected by these problems and have the greatest insight into the change we need. As Augustinians, we must bear witness and be a voice for those on the margins to ensure that the next 75 years of the UN will truly include all voices.


Welcome Youth Representative Michael Stevanovich

Michael Stevanovich from Lehigh University

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it,” and this ethos is what has driven me to dedicate my life to public service. I am the son of a Mexican immigrant and since I was 14 years old, I have worked in public service to create a more inclusive community and champion the very change I want to see in my community. I have worked for the mayor of Detroit, worked on several local political campaigns, and helped to improve community relations as a Government Affairs intern for Quicken Loans.

As I begin my college career studying international relations at Lehigh University, I have come to realize that my community goes beyond the city, state, or even country I live in. In the 21st century, we are now more than ever a global community. As former Secretary General said, ““More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together.” I look forward to working for Augustinians International to continue their great work bringing education and giving a voice to those who often do not have a voice for themselves. I hope to learn how NGOs can promote a more equitable and united global community and better understanding how NGOs can promote greater reform within the UN.