Close to 100 Christian Life Community-Kenya members drawn from 8 universities, gathered at the University of Kabianga in mid-February, for their joint formation weekend. The main theme of the formation weekend was “Laudato Si, Youth and Care of Creation”.
The venue could not have been more fitting. Bernard Kithusi, CLC-Kenya‘s Executive Secretary described the University of Kabianga campus as “the greenest university south of the Sahara and North of the Limpopo”. Situated in the Rift Valley highlands, the university is surrounded by tea farms and the Mau forest complex, creating a wonderful sea of green as viewed from the horizon.
CYNESA Executive Director, Allen Ottaro, facilitated the main session. After presenting an overview of Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si: on Care of Our Common Home”, Ottaro, who also serves as a member of the Ecology Commission of the World CLC, invited the participants to a reflection on how we are all invited, individually and as a community, to care for creation. Later, sharing in small groups, members took time to pray and then to explore concrete actions they would take as young CLC members. Tree growing and collection of plastic waste emerged as the two top issues identified for action, as well as deeper formation on how to live the vocation of caring for creation.
To further demonstrate their commitment to care for creation, the group planted over 100 trees seedlings on the university grounds. The host CLC members were tasked with watering and ensuring the seedlings grow to maturity. At about 7.6 percent, Kenya’s forest cover is below the internationally recommended threshold of 10 percent of total land mass, and various initiatives are ongoing to achieve this target.
Present in all continents, the Christian Life Community is a lay association that follows the charism and spirituality of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola. In 2013, the CLC World Assembly identified ecology as one of its four frontiers. The other 3 areas identified were: Family, Globalization and Poverty, and Youth.
CYNESA and CLC are now working closely. Early this year, CYNESA, through World CLC’s ECOSOC accreditation, attended the first substantive session of the Global Pact for the Environment, held in Nairobi. More ecology formation activities are envisaged by CYNESA-Kenya and CLC-Kenya.
CYNESA Founder- Executive Director.