The Global Catholic Climate Movement is now officially the Laudato Si’ Movement.
In a “momentous moment” that united all people of this movement, including co-founders, Church leaders, and Laudato Si’ Animators worldwide, thousands of the faithful participated in a special live announcement of the new name on YouTube and Facebook on Thursday.
The ceremony was a moving display of the Holy Spirit at work in this movement as participants shared the joy and emotions they felt as the new name was revealed.
“The name to me is amazing,” said Br. Stephen Otieno Makagutu of Kenya (above).
Leaders and the faithful also made plans to use this moment to recommit themselves to bringing Laudato Si’ to life as the climate crisis rages worldwide.
WATCH: Laudato Si’ Movement name announced!
Dr. Lorna Gold, Chair of the Laudato Si’ Movement Board of Directors, and Vice Chair Yeb Saño lamented the current state of our common home. Climate emergencies are unfolding around the world on a regular basis in the form of heat waves, extreme droughts, deadly wildfires, and historic flooding.
“The urgency of this crisis has never been clearer,” Saño said.
Gold shared how she will be celebrating the new name. “I have a deep sense of desire to recommit myself in my daily life.. in those little actions and in the big actions that sometimes we’re called to take to protect our common home and to act for justice for our fellow brothers and sisters.
“Perhaps each of us today, in being confirmed in a sense in this new name, can take a moment now to just go into our hearts and recommit ourselves.”
She noted the numerous opportunities people can take right now, including advocating for strong international climate agreements by signing the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” petition and uniting their communities by organizing an event for the upcoming Season of Creation, which starts 1 September and concludes 4 October.
The new name announcement caps a nearly two-year synodal discernment process that featured countless conversations with staff, board members, Laudato Si’ Animators, local Chapter leaders, and everyday Catholics who lead this work on the ground throughout the world.
Praying for God’s wisdom and listening to the Holy Spirit the entire time, the intentional, inclusive process has produced a new mission, new values, new structures, and a new name for this movement, which was born in the Philippines in 2015.
‘’I’m really happy,” said Mabel Zuñiga, an Animator of Laudato Si’ Animators (above), or a mentor to those going through the community-changing program, in Panama.
“Our mission is to always remember that everything is connected and to help our Church move forward on putting the most vulnerable communities and people at the center.”
Praise and congratulatory notes poured in from across the globe, including from Cardinal Michael Czerny, Under-secretary of the Section for Migrants of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
“[The] name now is not a corporate label; it is a prayer… When we name the movement now, every time we name it we’re saying a prayer. Laudato Si’, praise be the Creator,” Czerny said in a video.
Rev. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Head of the Vatican’s Ecology and Creation Office, said: “What a beautiful name, Laudato Si’ Movement, which reveals your identity, what you are and… what you should be. And we will be praying that you may be inspired by the vision of Laudato Si’ to take care of our common home, to listen to the cry of the Earth and of the poor, inflamed by the sense of justice but also by the theology and spirituality of this Gospel of Creation.”
Friends of the movement, including author and 350.org founder Bill McKibben and Paris Climate Agreement architect Christiana Figueres, also offered their well wishes.
Saño acknowledged that the climate crisis can feel daunting, but he reminded us of Pope Francis’ advice in Laudato Si’ — “May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope” (244) — and that we have a new reason to remain forever hopeful as we go forward as the Laudato Si’ Movement.
Saño said: “Hope is changing your name and having faith that the movement will be stronger than ever, and hope is what we experience like we are gathered today renewing our shared purpose.”