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Charter Education Institute

Compassion and Care for Creation

A Short Exploration of Laudato Si’ and Laudate Deum

Start Date: Join the course anytime until June 1 2024

Cost: Complimentary!

Facilitator: Course prepared by Kate Trnka

This is a self directed online course, allowing you to work through it at your own pace and convenience. Course materials will be available for six months after registration expires June 1, 2024.


Course Description

Many people from cultures all over the world are writing and speaking about the importance of reaching into our hearts and have been asking us to recognize, and commit to, our responsibility to the stewardship of our common home...Earth.

In this short, self-paced course, we will begin our exploration with two letters from Pope Francis. In 2015 Pope Francis wrote his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si' and recently, on October 4, 2023 released the second part, Laudate Deum. Each of these letters asks us to engage in compassionate action on behalf of all of her inhabitants–human and more-than-human. He easily shows us the human effects of climate change and how this change directly relates to us in the areas of social and economic justice, science, peace, and health as well as our spiritual lives.

About the Facilitator

Picture of Course Facilitator Dr. Jennifer Wilhoit

Kate Trnka has served as the Lead Ambassador for the Environment Sector of the Charter for Compassion since 2017 and is the former Coordinator of the Charter’s Global Read Program. She recently completed the certification to become a Laudato Si’ animator.

Kate is a writer, educator, and small business owner. She also enjoys leading workshops around her creation, Our Sense-Able Nature: Mindful Re-Connecting With Nature Activity Cards which provide nature-inspired activities connecting us to our 54 natural senses/sensitivities. She has also authored the If These Trees Could Talk book series and Oracle deck.

She is the founder of The Sacred Earth Institute – a place that teaches people how to return to well-being by reconnecting with the natural world. Kate has her Bachelor’s and her Master’s Degree in Education and is now enjoying semi-retirement after her 26-year career as a public school teacher.

Mark Your Calendars and Join us for Our E.A.R.T.H. Series:

Ecology, Action, Reciprocity, Transformation and Healing for Our Common Home

April 5th: Golden Rule Day

– The Charter’s Environment, Peace, Health, RISE and Social Justice Sectors will be active throughout the programming suggesting ways you can engage in making the world a better place for all who live on Planet Earth–our common home, including:

•     Collective Envisioning – a discussion from the Charter’s Environment, Peace, Health, RISE and Social Justice Sectors.

•     Participate in a meditative, spiritual ecology-based activity

•     Learn about our Compassion Tree Project–engage in tree planting efforts around the world

•     Participate in a nature-based, sensory-immersive activity

•     Learn about Heal the Waters–an annual world-wide water ceremony held on May 1st @ 5:01 pm local time

•     Learn about this free mini-course that will be offered through the Charter Education Institute

•     Enjoy songs with important messages for our Earth

Book cover: The 10 Green Commandments

April 9th @ 8 am Pacific/11 am Eastern - A Special Global Read

A Special Global Read with Fr. Joshtrum Isaac Kureethadam, author of “The Ten Green Commandments of Laudato Si’”

Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam is Coordinator of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He is also chair of Philosophy of Science and director of the Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. His most recent books include The Ten Green Commandments of Laudato Si’ (2019), The Philosophical Roots of the Ecological Crisis (2017), and Creation in Crisis: Science, Ethics and Theology (2014).

You can read more and register here


Picture of Pope Francis and Movie title the Letter

April 16th @ 8 am Pacific/11 am Eastern Global Screening of The Letter: A Message for Our Earth

Watch this documentary based on Pope Francis’ encyclical letter. Four voices that have gone unheard in global conversations have been invited to an unprecedented dialogue with the Pope. Hailing from Senegal, the Amazon, India, and Hawaii, these voices bring perspective and solutions from the poor, the indigenous, the youth, and wildlife into a conversation with Pope Francis himself. This documentary follows their journey to Rome and the extraordinary experiences that took place there and is packed with powerfully moving personal stories alongside the latest information about the planetary crisis and the toll it’s taking on nature and people. You can watch the trailer here.

A close up of a bright green large-leaf plant

April 29th - Compassionate Spiritual Ecology Course begins

This course, offered by Jennifer Wilhoit, offers students an overview of the body of work comprising the discipline of Spiritual Ecology. The field is interdisciplinary, encompassing thinkers and practitioners from conservation, ecology, and religion; students will be introduced to these founders and become familiar with their work. Students will also learn about the variety of writers, thinkers, and practitioners beyond the formal discipline and how their work contributes to a broader understanding of Spiritual Ecology. Read more and register here

May 1st @ 5:01 pm local time - Heal the Waters Ceremony

Heal the Waters is ceremony which recognizes and honors the source of life for ALL creation.

Host your own private or public ceremony for the water nearest and dearest to your heart. Or join others in a gathering near you. For more information visit the Heal the Waters website.



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