Rome (Italy). From 21 to 28 May, on the eighth anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on care for our common home, Laudato Si’ Week, was celebrated with the theme “Hope for the Earth. Hope for Humanity”.
On 28 May 2023, at the conclusion of the Week, accepting the invitation of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and of the organizing partners, the Youth Ministry Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians offered the possibility of shared viewing of the film “The Letter” via the Zoom platform, by sending the link to the young people, lay people, and FMA interested.
The aim was to promote the acquisition of greater awareness of climate change, and the consequent effects on the planet. “Once you know what’s going on, you can’t look away and, after seeing the film, hopefully God will push you to act,” wrote Tomás Insua, Executive Director of the Laudato Si’ Movement, inviting them to organize the projection, so that the testimony of Arouna, Ridhima, Chief Dadá, Greg, and Robin, and their dialogue with Pope Francis, could be an example for many in the desire to contribute to a better world.
The screening then took place on Pentecost Sunday, starting with the invocation to God the Creator to send His Holy Spirit upon all those who work to preserve the common home. At the end of the viewing, there was a moment of sharing on some questions: Do you think the film reflects today’s reality? What values are promoted? What message does it leave us? After seeing the film, what commitment can I make both personally and as a community?
Here are some responses of the participants:
- After seeing the film “The Letter” I am now motivated to act.
- The concern and need to protect and defend our common home must be part of our catechesis, because God created everything and all created things speak of God.
- The sacredness of every person and every creature must be recognized in our daily life and must also be communicated to everyone, to promote respect for the dignity of every human person and all of creation.
- There is a need to engage in networking to have a greater impact in protecting our common home.
- We come from different parts of the world, from different backgrounds, yet we all have the same dream, that of committing ourselves to the cause of integral ecology; the pains and sufferings of one are shared by all.
- I admire the courage of Pope Francis for this dialogue on ecology that he is carrying out worldwide without excluding anyone.
Along with these reflections, some shared the desire to project “The Letter” in their own educational environments with young people and with the Educating Communities, giving space for reflection and debate, as experienced during the online meeting.
With this initiative, the Youth Ministry Sector concluded the animation of Laudato si’ Week 2023, anticipated by a solicitation to the YM coordinators of all the Provinces to share material to broaden the reflection, starting from the seven Laudato Si’ objectives and in light of some articles of the Constitutions of the FMA Institute and of the Acts of the XXIV General Chapter, referring to the series of Youth Ministry no.19, “Together towards conversion to Integral Ecology”.
The YM Sector also invited the Coordinators to act in turn in the Educating Communities, organizing formation moments and activities around the theme of the year, to then share good practices with the Sector.