Our community theme for the year is the “Journey of conversion towards integral ecology.” To help us on this journey, in September Denise Lirette fj, whose ministry is dedicated to Integral Ecology asked Jacqueline Martel fj, Joyce Brochet fj and Margaret Wincey fj from Riverview, N. B. Canada, to read a book entitled: “Generation Laudato Si.”
The task at hand
The book is written entirely by young people. It is a beautiful portrait of 40 young people from 23 countries who embody the call to ecological conversion. (P. 103) We were asked to come up with questions that would help the Sisters with the “see, judge, act” method since they also would like to do their share on making our Common Home a better place.
After reading « Generation Laudate Si » a book by “Catholic Youth on living out an ecological Spirituality”, we would like to share what stood out for us as we went through these inspiring pages.
What emerged after reading
First of all, we were impressed by the depth and maturity of these young people and surprised by the large number of Canadians who participated. Their creativity was evident and we became aware that most of the projects they presented were “close to home” projects and that they always involved local communities. They never went forward alone but always with others and used the “SEE- JUDGE –ACT” method.
We were impressed as well by their creativity in the use of modern technology. Social media, for example, became a way for them to join with other youth around the world to influence policies and bring about needed change.
All were consistent in saying that it was not in the school system or university that they became sensitized to ecological concerns. The teachers among them spoke of their effort to include the ecology aspect in whatever subject they were teaching and they noted how receptive children were.
They also brought to our attention that our political systems are comprised mainly of senior members; that many leadership and government structures in our world are built in a way that excludes young people, one being the high cost of running for office. Voting is very important to them as well as the possibility of pressuring elected members concerning issues that affect our Common Home.
All these young people (ages 17 to 35) declare how deeply moved they have been by Laudato Si, how it has influenced their lives and prompted them to make necessary changes in their lifestyle and to not just “see and judge” but to act.
Quite a challenge!
In reading this book we have been invited to share in the hopes and dreams of our youth who are working for a better world. We have been challenged to “see, judge and act” in our own milieu to protect our Common Home as they are striving to do.
In our reflection we did succeed in finding questions that could help the Sisters be attentive to situations of injustice in their milieu, to name them and propose solutions to the problem. Putting our reflections and ideas into action is the most important part of being stewards of creation.
Jacqueline Martel fj
Moncton, N.B. Canada