Sister Rainer Boniface is a Sister of Loreto and Laudato Si’ Animator currently living in Mombasa, Kenya. Her many actions for the care of creation bring us back to this story and her work during the Season of Creation 2021:
The oikos of God
Since I was working in a school, I thought of how I could best deliver the Season of Creation message to teenagers. Knowing a bit about current youths’ behavior, I felt an image would speak to their minds. The theme was ‘The oikos of God’. I shared the idea with the art teacher in our school who, together with a group of students, came up with some nice artwork. I was then able to deliver the message. Together we felt that it is good to put everyone in the Oikos of God without discrimination since we are all God’s children, and we need to co-exist with each other and nature.
Then, under the same theme, I thought of starting a fruit garden with the aim of reaching out to the poor who cannot afford to have an adequate and balanced diet. We knew that the fruits could help such people–especially the elderly in Gatina, which is a slum in Nairobi. I managed to plant pineapple crowns, 20 Pawpaw trees, 4 apple trees, and 15 guava trees. So far, they are doing well!
Laudato Si’ Club
With the support of Fr. Benedict, we launched the Laudato Si’ club along with members of the environmental club so that we could care for our common home together. Here we teach and learn from each other on how to preserve our environment and we agreed to change our lifestyles in order to reduce the carbon footprint. For example, on World Environment Day, 2021, we planted 100 trees. 50 trees were planted in the primary school and 50 trees in the secondary school. Both schools are on the same compound.
The St. Francis circle and St. Jude circle members joined the Laudato Si’ Movement-Africa in the blessing of both domestic and wild animals. This was initiated by Fr. Benedict and his team. We organized for families to bring their domestic animals for blessings and a good number turned up. The next day was also a success. We went to the Nairobi National Park to bless the wild animals and had a positive turn-out. We closed by celebrating the Holy Mass and prayed for all of God’s creation.
One day, at our circle gathering, a member shared with us the need for water in the Mukuru slum area. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we organized our students from St. Mary’s school, where a circle member works. With the help of their parents, the children constructed a borehole so that the people in Mukuru could get water. The project was a success and we were able to help the community in this slum.
More to come!
I am very grateful to Fr. Benedict Ayodi for all of his support. I am also thankful for the St. Jude Circle for having inspired me and helped me to live my dream for the care of our environment. My future dream is to ensure that I bring as many religious men and women onboard so that together, in our small ways, we may take care of our common home. Climate change is a REALITY and it is already here. We need to ACT NOW!
Read also Sister Rainer’s story during Laudato Si’ Week: