Some sharing on the celebration of the Laudato Si Week

November 2020

The Province of Delhi celebrated the Week by setting aside quality time for prayer, reading and reflection with the help of the materials provided, inspiring videos and hymns. The creativity, newness, uniqueness, enthusiasm, interest and urgency with which the communities took up the call to care for our ‘Common Home’ was praise worthy. Each day, the communities chose different themes for prayer, like the five elements of nature, Nurture the Nature for the Future, No Earth No Life, Think Globally Act Locally, and the like. JPEG - 99 kb
Some communities are resolved to intensify their efforts to enlist the good will of the staff, students, parents and co – workers to become active partners with them in the project of “Healing the Mother Earth crying out in distress”. The final day of the Week, the Province reports that in prayer and reflection, Sisters examined their life style and the impact of their thoughtless behaviour and decisions with regard to food, water, energy and other material goods of the earth. “It stirred our conscience to acknowledge our sins against creation and truly be sorry for our neglect and indifference to the Earth groaning under the pressure of human callousness.”

Vice Province of Rwanda writes,

JPEG - 366.9 kbIn the fabric of life, we see biodiversity as a blessing from God. This theme helped us meditate on the essential facts of creation: that creation comes from God and that we are part of it. What happens to the creation happens to all of us too. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux saw the Bible and nature as two books in which God speaks to us and reveals to us something of his beauty and his goodness; nature speaks to us and shows us the presence of God. This awareness brings us closer to our common home.

During this week, the communities of the Vice Province was united in prayer with the Christian community all over the world to pray for and with the earth. We have recognized that the more we are united with God, the closer we are to nature. In all communities we have decided to save water, keep our surroundings clean, manage waste effectively, and to protect plants and trees. In a special way, with help, some of the women learned to make a vegetable garden in sacks, to conserve water and to produce much in a small place.

The Province of St. Bernard reports that to kick off the “Laudato Sí” week, some communities watched short videos, including one on the encyclical itself. In the context of the ecological catastrophe, we listen to the invitation of Pope Francis to bring our efforts together for the protection of our common home. We understand that we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another. JPEG - 120.6 kbAs Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, our charity is manifested not only to the vulnerable, but to the whole of God’s creation. This understanding has influenced all our communities and each one is committed to make a contribution to protect our mother earth.

“Laudato Sí” week has not gone unnoticed in our communities. It has found its expression in many ways:

- Prayer in and with nature: Some communities spend an hour of meditation in the lap of nature: contemplation of the rising sun, listening to the songs of birds and animals, appreciation of the diversity of fruits, flowers and herbs. The whole creation is praising the Creator!

- We saw the urgency to nurture, love, respect, and protect our mother earth because she is our mother.

- In the context of our country, some plants nourish our life in many ways, such as:

  • The Banana Tree: This plant, soon after giving its fruit, dies. This is what we are called to do: to die to self, to give life to others through free services; self-giving so that the other may flourish through my presence.
  • The Palm Tree: This is a very useful and strong plant that holds itself up even if it is in the midst of other trees that can suffocate it. It is an invitation for us to be strong and solid, to hold on in joy as well as in sorrow.
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  • The Papaya Tree: It is a plant that needs to be planted deep in the earth. Its fruits rest on each other regardless of their weight or shape. It is an analogy for us to root ourselves in prayer, to support and help each other, to accept and love each other regardless of our differences.

An appropriate response to this awareness, we understand, is ecological conversion: concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society and inner peace. It is a way of listening to the cry of creation, recognizing the contribution that each of us can make to protect the earth, our common home.

Some concrete decisions taken by different communities:

- Praying with nature

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- Planting trees on our land to fight against the economic crisis. We have planted many more fruit trees so that we can share their fruits with different communities and with those around us

- Strengthening the work of vegetable gardens and caring of flower gardens

- Separating waste into degradable and non-degradable items in order make compost, feed for animals and manure for our gardens

- Committing ourselves to cleaning and maintaining our environment. JPEG - 279.6 kb

The region of Mali reports that in response to the SG’s letter and in union with the world Catholic community, in prayer and solidarity each community of the Region of Mali celebrated the LS week, despite confinement and curfews. Our response was made concrete through the following activities:

- Adoration, rosary, a special hour of Worship each day to implore God’s mercy for the world

- Planting of fruit trees, taking care of our vegetable garden, using natural fertilizers

- Reciting Pope Francis’ prayer for the health of the sick every day after Vespers in union with the victims of Covid 19.

- In respect for nature and to show our love for our Mother Earth, we collect and recycle waste and use it differently.

“Marie-Auxiliatrice”, the community of Miabi in the Province of Saint Vincent de Paul, reports that part of their celebration of the Week was to weed the community garden and to plant anti-lightning plant (Ginkgo biloba). It is planted in all four corners of their house.

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