May 21-28, 2023
HEALTHY PLANET! HEALTHY PEOPLE! LAUDATO SI BEGINS WITH YOU AND ME
Among all the socio-religious activities that marked the week from May 21 to 28 2023, one of the most significant for us JPIC’s animators and protectors of the integrity of the creation, is the Laudato Sì’ Week. What is Laudato Si’ Week? It is a global event for Catholics and all those who commit in defence of the planet. This commemoration “began as a way to celebrate the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ world-changing encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’, on the Care for Our Common Home”. Since then, the annual celebration has become a way for all Catholics to unite and rejoice for the progress we’ve made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life and to commit ourselves to further prayers and actions for our common home”.
Indeed, this year again, we celebrate with emphasis this week of Laudato Sì’ under the topic: “Hope for the earth. Hope for humanity”. Also, Laudato Si’ Week 2023 is celebrating with the film “The Letter” to mark the eighth anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on care for creation. (cf. https://laudatosiweek.org/). In addition to the screening of the film, the opportunity is open to other activities at the local level to make this event closer to all.
In this same spirit that, we Oblates throughout several units around the world, we lived this week of reflection and action as our participation in taking care of our common home. A motto affirms “charity begins at home”, it means that people should deal with the needs of people close to them before they think about helping others. Charity and fulfilment of his requirements is something that should be started at our home, which includes family, friends and neighbours. Charity is the founder’s testament to all the Oblates, his children. With this purpose, a group of animators of OMI-JPIC, had concerted to undertake a very small activity, but a cheeky activity, to challenge us in each of our respective houses, just to make everyone aware of this need to join forces for a common mission such as saving our planet with simple concrete steps of each day.
Additionally, we had noted the different reactions from the members of our houses, and we shared some in our groups. According to the sharing of more than one, the reactions were diverse and sometimes full of emotions from those who were not always capable of living with limitations or those who were very sensitive to a “necessary joke”. In fact, here in Rome, – already the night before the opening of Laudato Sì’ week – we graciously proclaim “out of order” our elevators and gave a reading to those who go up or down the stairs. It was a crazy success! but it almost pushed somebody to ask for the resignation of the director of Justice and Peace in this house (this is not entirely true!).
But sometimes a daring demonstration can help to allow certain tendencies to panic due to lack of good will in the hour to take care of our planet from our own homes and communities. So dear OMI-JPIC Animators, I tell you all this, just to encourage you in taking common initiatives to become coherent actors who carry out sustainable actions for the good of all.
From now, the challenge is launched, and we all have the invitation of the oblate general administration that asks us to dare everything possible to implement the 37th General Chapter which reminds: “We have been made aware of our inadequate efforts for the care of the environment. We are thus challenged to commit ourselves more fully to prioritize ecological conversion as a fundamental part of our lives and an integral part of our evangelization” (cf. Acts of the 37th General Chapter, B. Hope, 11.1).
Finally, I invite you not to give up and to put yourselves into action in your pastoral units and places so that together as witnesses of the good news of God to the poor with many faces, we sow joy and hope.
Happy Feast of Pentecost!
Fr. Jean-Hérick Jasmin, OMI-JPIC, director. May 25th, 2023.