As part of their ongoing program on formation, the monks attended a recent three-day Zoom seminar on the topic of “Theology and Ecology in Dialogue, the Wisdom of Laudato Si.” Laudato Si is the encyclical on the environment of Pope Francis.
The three sessions were led by Father Dermot Lane, one of Ireland’s leading theologians. Father Dermot, as well as being a pastor, has also been a professor of theology for many years and an author of several noted books. He is a former teacher and great friend of Father Columba.
Father Dermot led us through the main points of the Pope’s encyclical and proposed an integral ecology with its moral and theological implications. He suggested the need for a new dialogue between religion and science. Fr. Dermot also developed a Christology with its emphasis on Wisdom Christology, a Spirit Christology, and a Word Christology. Such a theology is based in the Incarnation, where Jesus is close to the world of nature. During the seminar, Father Dermot played two inspiring videos from the singer Bono and the environmental activist Greta Thunberg. On the final day, he outlined the implications of what he had said in for Liturgy and the Celebration of the Eucharist.
The program gave the monks a renewed interest in the beauty of the environment in which we live and gave us some ideas about how we can celebrate the gift of creation during our Office and Eucharistic celebrations.