Laudato Si’ Encounter
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We pray that we may learn how to better serve one another and creation, following the example of so many environmental advocates that have come before us.
“Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.” (LS 86)
PRAYER FOR CREATION FOR ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS DAY
God of all Creation,
Today we remember all life that has journeyed back to You.
We remember family and friends
Who have closely touched our lives.
We remember our sisters and brothers
Who are nameless to us yet form part of our global family.
We remember our sisters and brothers who are eco-martyrs
Who have had their lives violently and unjustly taken from them for their defense of Creation.
We remember creatures big and small,
Which through human-induced extinction no longer roam the land, soar through the skies, or swim in the oceans.
We remember the natural world, lakes and rivers, forests and fields, mountains and valleys
That have been destroyed for human consumption.
We believe that You came for the salvation of the entire world and all the life it holds.
We trust that You have welcomed all Creation that has died in this earthly world into the Cosmic Home.
All Saints’ Day and Creation
Br. Birushe Herménégilde, Laudato Si’ Animator, Franciscan friar OFM, parish priest of St-Francis-of-Assisi parish in Magarama, Gitega diocese, Burund
All Saints’ Day is a feast on which the Catholic Church honors all the saints and martyrs of creation, directly or indirectly known and unknown. So it’s the feast of all God’s friends. We take the time to thank the Creator for his presence in the lives of so many people, saints past and present. They don’t necessarily have their names on the calendar, but they have listened (they listen) to God’s word, they have changed and are changing their habits to follow Jesus, or they have imagined (they imagine) a way of being and acting according to God’s will. Today it’s up to us to take their place. And the urgent action for us today is to care for creation. God wants us to be his partners, to continue his work of creation. The earth is a common garden for us all. Water and air are priceless gifts, animals and human beings are marvels of creation. We can say with the psalmist, “Your works are many, O Lord, you have done them all with wisdom. The earth is full of your riches” (Ps 104:1,24). We are all called to care for creation and to help preserve it (Gen 2:15, Lev 25:1-7).
St. Francis understood this well, seeing in every creature the hand and image of the Lord, to the point of composing the canticle of creation “Laudato Si,” which is the main source of Pope Francis’s Encyclical “Laudato si,” in which he invites us all to care for nature, our common home. We need a good relationship between the Creator, human beings and the earth. Today, we’d like to follow his example by taking concrete action to protect our unique common home. We need to get involved in the search for an answer to the cry of the earth, which is being abused by man for its resources. To the cries of the poor, and of the environment in general. We need to educate ourselves in ecological economics, education and lifestyle (Pope Francis).
Let us become aware of the urgency of our commitment to Creation. Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si” resonates around the world. What’s at stake is the future of humankind, which requires harmony with creation. We therefore need to invent new ways of living, producing and consuming. Respecting Creation means giving priority to life, and thus advancing on the path of holiness to which we are all called, like the saints we celebrate on All Saints’ Day. I suggest that each and every one of us plant fruit trees according to country and climate, so that we can protect the environment and at the same time have the fruit we need for our health.
Questions for reflection
- We admire Saint Francis of Assisi, and take him as our patron saint of ecology. We realize that our communities lack water, our sister water, which plays an important role in our daily lives, especially in our faith and our Church. Think back to some of the key moments in our Church tradition and imagine how mass could be held without clean water.
- Starting from the Gospel of creation, we realize that original sin was an environmental sin because it took place in the middle of the Garden of Eden and involved disobedience, disrespect for the rule of law, the oral command that the Creator God gave Adam not to eat a particular fruit. While Pope Francis declares that the climate crisis we are experiencing is today’s sin, it is clear that we continue to make immoral decisions, such as the development of fossil fuel projects (oil and gas extraction and coal mining), which harm humanity, creation and disconnect us from our Creator. What are some examples of fossil fuel projects taking place in your community or country, and what consequences are you seeing?
The divine path of eco-conversion: A Laudato Si’ Journey
Susan Mwangi, LSA, Educator in the Institute for Social Transformation and Laudato Si’ Activities Coordinator -Tangaza University College
I’m deeply thankful and joyful when I look back on my Laudato Si’ journey, which I believe has been guided and provided by the divine. It’s been about three years since I encountered Laudato Si’ and embarked on the path of becoming a Laudato Si’ Animator. This journey has been a profound realization of self and a deep alignment with my core values. The teachings of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, resonated deeply with my innate love for nature, and I found myself transformed into a climate activist. I am filled with awe at the passion I now possess for the care of our common home. Upon completing the Animator’s course, I was uncertain about my role, having taken the course while working in a refugee camp. It was Sister Molly of the FMM who introduced me to this transformative journey. When my contract ended, and I returned to Nairobi, I was privileged to join the St. Jude Laudato Si’ community, connecting with like-minded individuals dedicated to caring for our common home. Through divine guidance I also joined the global Laudato Si’ University working group thanks to Father Ben Ayodi OFM Capuchin who provided the connection and introduction. This role entrusted me with coordinating Laudato Si’ activities at the university, fostering various initiatives within and beyond our campus.
Within the university, I’ve organized awareness-raising talks on the climate crisis and engaged with the marginalized communities to respond to the cry of the Earth. Our sustainable garden project at Endonyo Sidai Primary School in Kajiado County stands as a testament to our impact. This journey underscores the divine providence that steers our efforts to protect our planet. My commitment to this cause strengthens daily, and I’m profoundly grateful for the chance to be a steward of our common home. Praise be to the Lord for this incredible journey!
Hearing Creation’s Cry
Hearing Creation’s Song
Laudate Deum prepares us for COP 28
In chapter 4 of Laudate Deum, Pope Francis gives us a historical overview of the latest COPs. The Pontiff points out how for decades attempts have been made to work on agreements to address the climate issue, their progress and failures. This year, the United Arab Emirates will host the next Conference of the Parties (COP 28) between November 30 and December 12. The Persian Gulf country is a major exporter of fossil fuels. However, it has also invested heavily in renewable energies. Oil and gas companies have ambitions for new projects in the country to further expand production. In preparation for the COP, we invite you to read chapters 4 and 5 of Laudate Deum to better understand the outlook for the upcoming summit. “May those taking part in the Conference be strategists capable of considering the common good and the future of their children” (LD 60).