By Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antida Thouret
Through their many presences in different geographic areas of the world, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antida Thouret have promoted mobilizing events and activities involving students, children, families, women, migrants, neighborhood and parish societies.
During the month of May 2023, as part of Laudato Si’ Week and in preparation for the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, the creativity of the initiatives chronicles the commitment of Mother Thouret’s Charismatic Family – religious and lay – in response to the cry of our mother earth and the cry of the poor.
Meetings, seminars, performances, combined with hands-on workshops and nature walks to raise awareness of caring for Creation among young people.
In Albania, in Rubik‘s, a group of volunteers from the town cleaned a water source of trash. For younger children, a themed puppet show, “The Flower Girl”. For older children, ecological walk and in the woods, dialogue on the themes of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’.
In Italy, the Charismatic Family participated in the opening of Laudato Sii Week in St. Peter’s Square, Rome, and its conclusion in Assisi, in the garden of San Damiano, where Francis wrote the Canticle of the Creatures.
In Romania, in Timisoara, the young people, with the ecological means par excellence – the bicycle – reached the monastic community of Prefanta Treime: prayer, exchange, formation characterized the day. Also in the educational sphere, the Roman Catholic theological high school Gerhardinum dedicated awareness seminars to the care of our Common Home.
Migrants and asylum seekers were also involved: in Spain, in San Sebastian at the La Asunciòn College, they took action to clean up a public park from garbage, as a practical activity followed the screening of “The Letter”, Pope Francis’ docufilm to address the environmental crisis together
On the continent that seems destined to bear the harshest consequences of climate change, disabled children have also been involved. In Egypt, in Alexandria, at the Sisters of Charity Center, young guests tried their hand at a planting and recycling project. Elementary school students participated in a challenging competition held by COP27.
In Cameroon, the parish center in Ngaoundal promoted training courses on recycling collection. In Congo, in Kinshasa, the 500 pupils and teachers of St. Augustin School participated in a crowded conference on integral ecology, which ended with a collective waste collection.
In Central African Republic, at St. Jeanne Antida High School in Bouar, the children engaged in the planting of the school garden, feeling directly responsible for the small seedling that will become a tree if it finds a caregiver.
Also in Pakistan, at St. Jeanne Antide Bible School in Shahdra, a planting organized by students and teachers took place
In Lebanon, in Yahchouch: village cleanup and recycling collection; in Ghebele, pupils at Immaculée Concepcion School, a full day at the sorting center, learning that waste, if well sorted, can be a most valuable resource. At the Holy Child Jesus Institute in Baabdath, students learned the art of composting. At the Holy Family Home for Orphans, the Sisters of Charity accompanied the little ones, who were welcomed at a nursery: each of them chose a seedling. As of now, in the park of the Holy Family, she is responsible for it. In Quehmez, an ecological walk immersed them in the beauty of the mountainous landscape.
In Indonesia, in Java, neighborhood youth, together with sisters, engaged in collecting plastic and paper for recycling.
In Syria, in Damascus, university youth, gathered in St. Josef Parish, reflected on Laudato Si’ and carried out a recycling project.
In Argentina, La Plata, San Antonio parish, young people – following the film “The Letter” – organized a workshop: “Use, Reuse, Recycle” and especially the presentation of the movement “Cuidadores de la Casa Comùn”, which accompanies homeless people, encouraging them to support themselves through recycling. In Colon, at the Santa Marta School, children learned how to recycle plastic bottles.
In Paraguay, Puerto Triunfo, a highly symbolic gesture at the center of the Mass: a young woman danced with a jug on her head: a way of asking forgiveness for failing to properly value this vital liquid, for its waste, for its pollution, for its infidelity to the Baptism that makes us custodians and not owners of creation.
In Lambare, children from the Santa Juana Antida Center, accompanied to the botanical garden, appreciated its richness. Still in Lambare, the implementation of the project “From the square we have to the square we want”, in collaboration with the municipality, to restore dignity to the environment experienced daily.