The English and French-speaking Laudato Si’ Movement chapters from Asia Pacific, Africa, and North America gathered on February 15 to reflect on their journey thus far and to share insights from the work of three chapters in the areas of eco-spirituality, sustainability, and prophetic advocacy.
Nancy Lorence from the Metro New York chapter advised the chapters to approach the church “with our values, our passion, and our heart” and to be bold.
She gave a reflection on their journey since 2014. By establishing connections with Catholic Charities and members of the church dedicated to social justice, they were able to collaborate with dioceses in New York in care for creation work.
The Carbon Fast Calendar, which the Metro New York Chapter created for Lent, is one example of how they link creation care with the church’s liturgical season.
Lilik Krismantoro from the Indonesian chapter shared how they used the Laudato Si’ Action Platform to achieve key steps such as:
- animate their members
- invite more people to learn about Laudato Si’
- become involved in the work for sustainability and integral ecology
Through a series of learning sessions, they have grown in their understanding of the platform and of sustainable actions for the seven sectors, and as a result, they are now a resource pool and support system for the Indonesian Church as it implements the Laudato Si’ Action Platform in the country.
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LSM members in Indonesia gathering on Zoom in February 2022 amid many meetings for the country chapter. Image credit Laudato Si’ Movement Indonesia.
“Many doors exist through which we can involve our communities in Laudato Si’,” according to Lilik, who also gave the chapters the advice to keep looking for these doors.
John Hillary from the Uganda chapter discussed the challenges that the chapter and other environmental conservation organizations are facing in their effort to stop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project, which poses serious risks to the environment and biodiversity.
He also talked about the human rights violations in Uganda linked to investments in fossil fuel projects and how he is witnessing the pain of people who broadcast their loss.
The prevalence of unnatural fires are a sign of the devastating effects that climate change has on the most vulnerable of our planet. Creation cries out as forests crackle, animals flee, and people are forced to migrate #SeasonOfCreation pic.twitter.com/reO4qRf29B
— LaudatoSi Movement Uganda (@LSMUganda) September 2, 2022
John highlighted the power of dialogue. It is in these conversations, according to John, that you will find the people who would stand with you.
The stories shared by the chapters on their work demonstrates their dedication to the common mission of Laudato Si’ Movement. One of the participants best describes the experience: “I am so happy to participate in this rich encounter with the changing reality by courageous persons!”