A moment of eco spiritual reflection in the garden of the Sisters of Charity. Image source: Sr. Mirna Farah
The Sisters of Charity’s global impact goes back long before their collaboration with Laudato Si’ Movement began by becoming a Member Organization. Together with AJA Friends of Jeanne-Antide, they have been actively contributing by making a daily commitment that has improved innumerable lives in their local communities. With an increasingly global presence (32 countries, 4 continents), they can’t be stopped!
In 2021, the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antida Thouret and Laudato Si’ Movement crossed paths and began planting the seeds to a fruitful relationship that is already bearing fruits and will surely continue reaping benefits with a rippling effect across the globe.
How it all began
In an interview with Laudato Si’ Movement’s Lucia Sorrentino, Sr. Mirna Farah of the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antida Thouret in Rome, graciously tells us the story of how the relationship came about, joining the two organizations on their path of integral ecology.
Watch Sr. Mirna’s interview with Laudato Si’ Movement’s Lucia Sorrentino(Activate YouTube captions):
L.S: How did this splendid collaboration between the Sisters of Charity and LSM take place?
Sr. Mirna: We are truly very happy to share with you this journey on the path of integral ecology. We held our General Chapter meeting in Rome during the 2021 Season of Creation. In preparation for the meeting, the Sisters of Charity…expressed their…sensitivity to climate issues, and asked the committee to reflect on and introduce the scope of ecology In the general chapter’s table of contents. This goes to show the importance that the Sisters of Charity place on ecology issues and the climate crisis.
During the General Chapter meeting, Dr. Cecila Dall’Oglio, Laudato Si’ Movement’s Associate Director of European Programs, presented the movement, its actions, objectives, etc. We were offered the opportunity to walk together in synodality as a Church, also in the area of ecology. The chapter sisters then chose to join the movement in an official way. And so the collaboration between The Sisters of Charity and Laudato Si’ Movement was born.
L.S: What were some of the initiatives that the Sisters of Charity were involved in during this year’s Laudato Si’ Week?
Sr. Mirna: There were so many! I would like to emphasize that our charism says that “we cannot love and serve Jesus Christ unless we love and serve the poor.” We found a resonance in the Laudato Si’ encyclical because Pope Francis engages us not only to serve the poor, but to go down to the roots of poverty. It is here that we experience “the call”.
As a global community, as a congregation, we’re experiencing a spiritual ecological conversion. The Sisters and all of our collaborators think about how we can expand our network and work together to find the spiritual roots of this “acting” at the ecology level.
We work both locally and internationally. At the international level, we proposed to experience a celebration, a day of spiritual retreat, with the “ecological conversion” theme. We gave the Sisters the possibility We gave the sisters a chance to experience this event both on a community level and on a broader, ecclesial level. We had so many initiatives!
There were eucharistic celebrations in public and private gardens, prayerful moments with the youth, moments of “public conversion”– people becoming aware of ecological problems–and many more.
There are countries where ecological sensitivity is taken less into consideration. We are glad to see that in these places we are growing in this sensitivity, in this ecological conversion.
L.S.: How are you planning to celebrate the Season of Creation this September?
Sr. Mirna: We heed St. Vincent de Paul’s words, “charity is endlessly inventive.” The Sisters of Charity have this capacity for creative imagination when it comes to charity and poverty. Without specific details regarding the initiatives that will be undertaken by the Sisters of Charity during the Season of Creation, I can assure you that the Sisters are INVENTIVE, as we’ve seen how they’ve managed to involve others during Laudato Si’ Week. What is certain is that the sisters have a great sensitivity to the climate crisis. Now you can feel that there is a sensitivity to integral ecology–a way of acting; a way of serving.
L.S.: Thank you for showing us that, although the division between the global north and south is becoming more and more evident, at the end of the day we are all united by the climate crisis, and therefore by this need for an integral ecological conversion in listening to the cries of creation and also to the cries of the poor.
Walking the walk
Here we highlight a snippet of the Sisters of Charity and friends’ countless initiatives Laudato Si’ Week 2022 and how they are gearing up for the upcoming Season of Creation.
In Paraguay, Permanent Deacon Arnaldo Ramirez, Latin American referent of the Friends of St. Joan Antida movement of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of SJA, used the COVID-19 lockdown as an opportunity to complete the Laudato Si’ Animator training. It didn’t take long for Arnaldo to spring into action, leading activities that have increasingly involved his growing community, seeking to create awareness about the care of the environment. Read more…
In Pakistan, Laudato Si’ Animator Sr. Narguis Yousaf shared an “amazing and touching experience” with the youth, Friends of St. Jeanne Anitde and teachers, as they strengthened their faith with the word of God and prayer and experienced a deeply heart-felt responsibility to take care of our common home. Their Season of Creation plans are shaping up! Read more…
In Lebanon, Laudato Si’ Animator/Head Teacher Sr. Saïdé Khairallah and her teaching community’s environmental efforts aim to raise awareness among young people about the need to care for the earth by helping them to know and love God’s creatures.
In Rome, Sr. Mirna and other Sisters of Charity have become certified Laudato Si’ Animators. From their magnificent garden in the heart of Rome, their efforts spiral outwardly and expand well beyond their welcoming house to reach those who need it most around the world. From trainings to retreats and other impactful initiatives, the Sisters of Charity are on fire as they prepare for this year’s Season of Creation! Read more…
Join Sr. Mirna, Sr. Saïdé, Sr. Narguis, and Arnaldo in celebrating the Season of Creation.