One of the principal outcomes of the International Laudato Si’ Conference that was co-organized by the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa and three other Partners on July 15th-16th at the UN Office at Nairobi, was the establishment of the Laudato Si’ Generation of young people caring for our common home. Since then, several young people have reached out about what they can do in their small ways to accelerate the “Laudatosization” of young people especially in Africa. This article outlines five ways to live Laudato Si especially during the Season of Creation (September 1 – October 4).
- Internalize Laudato Si’: The encyclical letter Laudato Si’ is richly endowed with information about what is happening to our common home and how we can take proactive action to alter/reverse the trajectory of this calamity. It fuses catholic social teaching principles especially on care of creation and preferential option for the poor with scientific knowledge/facts, and a deep appreciation of indigenous knowledge. Download the English or French versions and study the 246 paragraphs. Highlight words/phrases/sentences/paragraphs that strike you the most or resonate with you best!
- Reach Out to Your Peeps: Reach out to people who know you and those who don’t know you! Form a group of five people and have them study Laudato Si’ with you. Share Laudato Si’ quotes on your WhatsApp status, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! You will be surprised that the most informed in your group are unconsciously hungry for Laudato Si’! If anyone says no, s/he will have heard you and respond in future!
- Contact CYNESA leadership: At CYNESA, we are driven by a passion to create awareness and to journey with young people. We also seek to address “every person living on this planet” (LS 3). Invite us to your parish, youth group, Small Christian Community, social gathering, school, university etc. to dialogue with your colleagues.
- Start a Small Project Where You Are: Some young people produce short videos, take photos, write blogs, compose music and poems, paint, grow vegetables in plastics bottles they collected from the streets, protest against cutting a single tree in their parishes, speak to schoolchildren, make organic compost, and so on.
- Refuse: In LS (113), the Holy Father urges, “Let us refuse to resign ourselves” and, in LS (114), underscores, “the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution.” As a young person, refuse! Refuse! Refuse! Refuse to buy shoes, clothes, weaves, wigs, and phones that you don’t need! Refuse plastic bottled water! Refuse single-use plastics like straws! Refuse to trash! Refuse the throwaway culture! Refuse to vote for corruption and destruction of our common home! Simply… Refuse!
David N. Munene,
CYNESA Programs Manager.