MCC offers study guides, ecological examen

| November 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Minnesota Catholic Conference is offering small group study guides and an ecological examen for the document it released this year on faith and the environment, “Minnesota, Our Common Home.”

Synthesizing Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’, Care for Our Common Home,” and applying its teaching to issues that especially concern Minnesotans, MCC’s work can be used by individuals, parishes, schools, ministries and other groups.

The study guides are designed to help people through MCC’s document in six weeks, with discussion questions and suggestions for thoughtfully applying the document to daily life.

The examen, based on a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, is intended as a periodic review of life, perhaps during Advent or Lent, in light of the teachings of “Laudato Si’” and the ecological conversion it calls for.

As MCC, the public policy arm of the Catholic bishops in Minnesota, released information about the study guides and examen, Jason Adkins, MCC executive director, noted Pope Francis’ decision to add ecological sins to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“Pope Francis’ decision to highlight ecological sin brings into greater focus the themes from the prior pontificate,” Adkins said. “Sin is not simply something done by individuals, but also has a social dimension for which peoples and nations must answer. That is why (Pope) Francis talks about the ‘throwaway culture’ in which creation, including human life, is treated as raw material to be used, manipulated and discarded at will. In other words, questions about bioethics and environmental ethics are connected.

“The antidote to the throwaway culture is an ethic of integral ecology. The ecological examen is a way for Catholics to consider how they may be contributing to the throwaway culture and offers practical guidance to facilitate what Pope Francis calls for, which is ecological conversion — living in right relationship with the Creator and creation,” Adkins said.

The study guide, which includes the original 41-page document, “Minnesota, Our Common Home,” is available at an introductory price of $5.99 (plus the cost of shipping outside of the Twin Cities metro area) through Dec. 31 or until supplies run out. The examens are $2.50 each. The original document is $3.35.

Descriptions of the documents and instructions for ordering them are available at


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