From Rome to Malawi and from Malawi to Washington, this Tuesday, April 12, the “Laudato Si’ Dialogue: Leading Locally as a Laudato Si’ Animator” was held to show how so many Animators of the Laudato Si’ Movement live in synodality and mutual enrichment.
Three animators from different regions and different realities participated in the panel. In addition to mentioning the virtues that this course brings, each one showed a video of their respective communities, and mentioned how they will live a Holy Week in the Laudato Si’ style.
WATCH: You can”t miss this dialogue: listen to it here
A network of spiritual conversion
Dr. Simone Seym, of the Archdiocese of Washington, USA, is coordinator of the “Green Team” at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and, together with Cardinal Wilton Gregory, they are working to bring Laudato Si’ to the community.
“Something I learned on the path of Laudato Si’ is to cooperate, to work together in love with my brothers in Christ,” Simone mentioned. For her, it is a “network of spiritual conversion”, which stands out a lot living in such a big city: “In this context we try to act, through advocacy, taking action on the public roads”.
Simone told how after the pandemic, the cathedral community began to incorporate the language of Laudato Si’ and now Laudato Si’ Week, Earth Day and the Season of Creation are already fixed dates in the parish program.
Among the activities they carry out, they have Laudato Si’ walks and talks for different groups and have incorporated the teaching of the encyclical Fratelli tutti, “because they are complementary”.
“The Animators’ course provides a Laudato Si’ formation with a lot of richness, it is an opportunity to learn, open our horizons and exchange with others,” he said.
An animator, “someone who has been called.”
From Malawi, Sister Immaculate Tusingwire, told how this very new chapter – which has only one circle – carries out so many enriching activities for the region. The nun, originally from Uganda, defined a Laudato Si’ Animator as “someone who has been called,” but who must first experience “deep listening.”
“When I took the course I felt a call to act and inspire others in my community. Once you have heard the call of mother earth, you have to answer it.” She also believes that we all carry a leader within us: “Animators must look for it within themselves to take action in their communities”.
Immaculate mentioned that before she was not aware of the clamor of the earth and when she made her ecological conversion in the Laudato Si’ Movement she experienced “a shock to reality, with an invitation to join a global movement”.
Being an Animator “asks nothing of you and gives you a lot”.
For her part, Emanuela Chiang, a Laudato Si’ Animator who leads a circle in Rome, Italy described the animator as “a person who is at peace with themselves, with creation and with other human beings”, and the course as an experience that “asks nothing of you and gives you a lot”.
She affirmed that taking the course changed her lifestyle: “It made me a different person, in search for inner peace. Before I was always running around, doing too many things… Now I feel in harmony”.
The importance of having peace has to do with contemplation: “If we don’t have this peace in us, it will be very difficult to communicate it and be at peace with others. If we don’t stop to contemplate, we won’t be able to live in harmony, without appreciating things, or worrying about the clamor of creation.”
Emanuela is grateful to be part of an open and global movement: “Synodality is in practice and we can link up with many organizations that are working with human and environmental justice,” she said.