From 2016 to 2019, he served as a volunteer for Creation Care activities with the Archdiocese of Atlanta (USA). Around the time he joined the Laudato Si’ Animator program earlier this year, he started working as the archdiocese’s Sustainability Program Coordinator.
But Savoie gained vital new knowledge through the Laudato Si’ Animator training about caring for creation, and he increased his understanding about how Laudato Si’ is changing lives around the world, not just in the U.S.A.
“The Pope’s powerful letter and consistent message over time give each of us a chance to ask: If the Pope thinks these problems are so important as to write such a lengthy letter, what should be our response?”
Savoie and thousands of people on six continents responded earlier this year by participating in the Laudato Si’ Animator program, a six-week program that provides free online training in the participant’s language (English, Spanish, Italian, and Polish are available) on the tenets of Laudato Si’ and the need for all of us to urgently act against the climate crisis.
Participants learn from world-renowned experts and enjoy flexible training offerings. Everyone completes the program with a final project that amplifies Laudato Si’.
For his final project, Savoie moved forward the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s response to Laudato Si’ and the climate emergency.
The plan is a five-year effort to help the archdiocese’s 128 parishes and schools implement aspects of the archdiocese’s “Laudato Si’ Action Plan,” which was published in November 2015, only six months after Pope Francis finished writing the landmark document.
“Knowledgeable commitment up front is critical,” Savoie said.
His meetings will lead to those parishes and schools having a strong start on reducing water and energy usage, he said.
“Over time, there will be much more to this than energy and water usage, but that is the focus right now.”
Savoie eventually will work with the parishes and schools to “conduct energy efficiency audits and water conservation audits, assist in forming/strengthening local Creation Care Teams, and building three-year sustainability improvement plans for each location,” he said.
By completing the project, Savoie is answering a direct call from Pope Francis, who in Laudato Si’ wrote about how “renovating buildings” to improve their “energy efficiency” needs to become more widespread.