Response to the Cry of the Poor

Laudato Si' Action Platform Goal

Responding to the cry of the poor goes hand in hand with addressing the cry of the Earth. As creatures of this planet, humans are part of the great fellowship of life. All are valuable, and all are imbued with an innate dignity and purpose.

But it’s difficult to hear the cries of impoverished and marginalized people if we isolate ourselves in our every-day lives. Whether across town or across the globe, what goes unseen often goes unacknowledged. And that lack of awareness and even avoidance of the suffering of others can lead to a destructive indifference.

“We walk with ... those suffering from violence and injustices of every kind. Systemic and social sins fed by greed, individualism and abuse of power threaten to destroy the human family and the planet that sustains us. These signs of the times cry out for healing and wholeness.”

—Sisters of the Holy Cross 2019 General Chapter Statement

Quest for Equitable Living

Attuning ourselves to the cries of the poor requires focus and, potentially, discomfort. It means being conscious of how our lifestyles and consumption negatively impact people around the world and bringing our willingness to change. By accepting a small degree of discomfort, we can help ease the great suffering of others.

Our efforts must also include political diligence. As the mighty race to consume and control the Earth and its gifts, communities with limited economic and political power suffer the fallout. They are forced to deal with desertification, land grabbing, depletion of natural goods, toxic air pollution, water contamination, and mountains of waste shipped from far-off lands. What’s more, poorer nations are not adequately prepared to face the harsh realities of climate change, and they are the ones impacted the most. Addressing this injustice will demand sophisticated infrastructures and systems for regulation and monitoring.

“When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain, this has serious consequences for society. This … has engendered immense inequality, injustice and acts of violence against the majority of humanity … .”

—Laudato Si' 82

Learn.   Pray.   Discern.

The Sisters of the Holy Cross invite you to continue the journey with us as we respond to the cry of the poor and lean into what we can each do to better care for our common home. 

You can download a copy of Laudato Si for free or purchase a copy from your favorite bookseller. 

Suggested readings from Laudato Si':

Take the time to read the paragraphs listed below from Laudato Si' (on care for our common home). In Laudato Si', Pope Francis invites all people, not just members of the church, to enter into dialogue about our common home (LS 3).

  • paragraph 10: St. Francis, Caring for Creation and the Poor
  • paragraph 25: Implications of Climate Change on the Poor
  • paragraph 48: The Effect on the Most Vulnerable
  • paragraph 49: Hear the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor
  • paragraphs 93-95: The Common Destination of Goods

Cry of the Poor Workshop

Ask Yourself 

Where do you hear the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”? 

How does seeing everything as connected change the way you see the world?

How can you respond to the cry of the poor in your own life?

Prayer for Cry of the Poor

Creator God,

You taught us that the poor are blessed and that all lives are precious and have dignity. Remind us that we can see you and serve you in the faces of the poor, abandoned and deprived.  

Help us to be your ears to listen to the cry of the poor. Inspire us to be your voice, delivering messages of acceptance and love. Encourage us to be your feet, walking with those in need. Awaken us to be your hands to alleviate the suffering and pain of your people and to care for all your creation on Earth. 


Holy Cross International Justice Office Reflection

Sister Mary Turgi shares how the Family of Holy Cross is responding to the call of the global Church by partnering with community organizations for collective impact on issues of racial equality and equity. 

Continue this Journey with Us

Consider inviting others by sharing these resources, leading group discussions, or share on social media.

We invite you enter your own commitment as an individual, a family or a community, and to join us in this seven-year mission on care of our common home. To stay up to date and receive additional resources, please sign up below.

Together, we can journey toward a better future.

Our time is now.