Written by Alarina Alves do Nascimento, LSM-Timor Leste

Edited by Dircia Belo, LSM-Timor Leste

Participating in the LSM Lenten Fossil Fuel Fast Campaign in Timor Leste provided us with profound insights into our relationship with creation and spirituality throughout the weekly activities. 

Our journey began with the “Reconnect with Creation” activity on February 18, setting the stage for an exploration of our relationship with God’s creation.  Engaging in activities like hiking, prayer and reflection amidst nature, I was reminded of my responsibility to nurture our common home, Sister Mother Earth. 

Hiking and contemplating in nature

In Week 2 of the Lenten campaign, on February 24, we hosted an interactive sharing session focused on increasing awareness of our Environmental Footprint. With a particular emphasis on Climate Justice, we encouraged the mostly young attendees to discuss how our actions contribute to the climate crisis. Introducing practical tools like the footprint calculator, many participants were shocked by the results, prompting meaningful discussions on the solutions and leaving all of us inspired and motivated. 

Week 3 shifted our focus to fasting and abstinence, emphasizing on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Through a video presentation which we created, we offered practical tips to achieve this goal . From promoting the use of LED lights to reduce energy consumption and carbon emission to identifying daily habits that harm the environment, the participants worked together to find solutions to minimize our impact on our common home. 

Reflecting on the practical solutions to help solve the climate crisis

In Week 4, March 10,  we engaged in a heartwarming act of generosity by donating our unused items to young people living in Dominicana Orfonato Bidau, an orphanage.   This gesture highlights the importance of sharing and caring for one another, emphasizing that living in harmony involves taking care of each other. 

During Week 5, March 17, held at the Church Sagrado Coração de Jesus in Becora, we  shared insights on how to live according to the principles of Laudato Si’ and how to join the movement.  We encouraged the parishioners to embrace the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical and spread its message and we invited them to participate in our upcoming programs.  The parish priest emphasized the role of young people in promoting the Laudato Si’ message for everyone and in taking action for our common home.

As we enter the 6th week and final week of the Lenten campaign, we are collaborating with some religious sisters for prayer and reflection. 

Spanning 40 days, the Fossil Fuel Fast Lenten campaign has been a transformative journey for us, young people.  Through the different activities, we have cultivated a deeper sense of stewardship for all creation and our common home.

In a parish in Becora, Timor Leste, young LSAs are inviting the parishioners to take part in the work of caring for creation