“As a child I grew up in the countryside and that gave me a great capacity to contemplate creation and find God,” says Sister Cecilia Marichal, Laudato Si’ Animator and consecrated member of the Religious of Mary Immaculate.
During the time of the pandemic, Sister Cecilia received the proposal to join the Laudato Si’ Movement through this course and she did not hesitate: “The care of all life (not necessarily human) was always very present in my life”, she mentions while recalling her childhood in the interior of Uruguay and her early studies in veterinary medicine.
“Because of the context in which I was born, I was always quite aware of the ecological crisis in which we live. But when I first read the encyclical Laudato Si’ I loved it and it helped me incorporate it more into my personal life.”
The congregation of the Religious of Mary Immaculate works with young women who arrive alone in big cities, welcoming them in residences and accompanying them in their daily lives. Sister Cecilia lives in one of these houses in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and there she works in “the pastoral of daily life, living with the girls is what teaches us the most”.
In her daily life, in relation to the young women, she discovers how the new generations have a “built-in ecological conscience”. However, “we want to help them see God in Creation”.
“As I work at home, I do not intend to make big campaigns on the care of the planet, but in the daily life, separating waste, having plants and green spaces, contemplating and valuing creation”, she mentions.
What Sister Cecilia values most about joining the Laudato Si’ Movement is “meeting other people who are already working and joining in communion with a lot of people worldwide who value our planet from a faith perspective. We have the possibility of joining forces: alone we don’t do much, but when we unite, we do something great to improve our world”.
Sister Cecilia invites others to become Laudato Si’ Animators: “From all that we are living as humanity, and recognizing that we are the ones who have to take care of the planet. But for that we need to train ourselves and the Laudato Si’ Movement offers this through the animators’ course.”
The nun also animates the Ecological Pastoral of her congregation, helping other sisters to be formed: “I started working with the encyclical locally, when I was in Chile. For the past two years, this pastoral has been a year-round reality, which calls us to work both locally, in our own areas, and at the provincial level. We have training sessions with the sisters and also for young people outside. We start with awareness and formation, and then we transmit it to others with concrete works and projects”.
“My community feels very much this call of God to take care of the planet, the social and environmental situation. We are sensitive to this crisis. Therefore, in our daily life we transmit this attitude that we have to take care of our planet,” she concludes.