For five weeks beginning in late July, I participated in the Laudato Si Animators webinar. There were two groups and I joined the evening group as it fit best into my schedule and energy level. Each webinar provided excellent speakers, enlightening Power Points, and engaging small group conversations in breakout sessions. It was exciting sharing with people from various parts of South America, India, Africa and Canada in these breakout sessions each week. We had homework to complete online such as reading ‘On Care For Our Common Home’, Pope Francis’ Encyclical, additional videos, resources and lots of reflective writing. This group is trying to continue highlighting Laudato Si for the next two years so that its 7th Anniversary Year will hopefully be a moment of realizing personal and global conversion for justice, peace and the care of creation.
Two activities particularly energized me. One was having to write a ‘future letter’ from a child who would be writing to me 80 years from now regarding my involvement in caring for the earth and what this now elderly ‘child’ would be experiencing on this earth handed down to her. That was a profound contemplative experience that moved me to action.
The second activity was to build a project to promote values of Laudato Si. So, I am writing weekly newsletters to our residents at Joan of Arc Residence inviting them to: pray ‘A Prayer for Our Earth’ by Pope Francis; reflect on God’s many blessings and give thanks; care for our earth-garden and for one another’s life by wearing a mask in common areas; perform acts of ‘healing’ earth by pulling weeds in the garden, noticing and appreciating the physical and spiritual nourishment in our midst; pray and speak out for equality, justice and an end to all racism; share and invite those with means to contribute to our JM ‘Together More Than Ever Before’; have a plant and/or vegetable exchange in the garden to continue a sustainable way of living right here.
So, as my/our lives are impacted with: COVID, politics, racism, hunger, demonstrations in our streets, the plight of migrants, homelessness, fires throughout the west coast, particularly here in the local San Diego hills where smoke clouds then deposited ash on our property as they headed to the ocean leaving pollution filling the sky, my involvement in JPIC ignited my desire and energy towards creating spaces where love and compassion for one another and our earth could take root in the midst of all this. Please continue praying for the migrants we assist with food and rent and also for my migrant pen pals in the detention center near our house. COVID is a daily threat there. Thanks.