Friday, December 16, 2016

Living Laudato Si

Christmas reminds us of a creator God who needed the warmth of his creation.  Christmas is a time of gathering, exchanging hugs, love, and tenderness.  For that reason, the youth of the parish Reina de los Cielos in Los Olivos (Lima, Peru), organized a Recycling Campaign for Christmas.  Energized by Pope Francis, the youth from the nine different youth groups which make up the youth ministry, invited the entire community to participate with simple acts of recycling, reducing, and reusing. 

Last year, through studying the encyclical Laudato Si, many youth leaders were asking how they could apply the recommendations of Pope Francis within the parish community.  I remember that there were a lot of ideas presented, but one of the most concrete was to do a “collect everything” (aka recycle).  So that’s what we did, and it went really well!  This action was even stronger this year, since Pope Francis incorporated the care of creation as the eighth work of mercy. 

While this work challenges us, I can also say that it offers us a true opportunity for hope.  To see the youth recycling and saying “this can be recycled” is amazing.  It offers a living witness.  How wonderful it is to watch them taking the care of creation into every decision, living it out in their youth events where they are reducing the use of non-recyclable materials.  There is still a lot of work to do to restore our relationship to the planet, and that includes in the parish, but it is really beautiful to see the youth saying, “Laudato Si,” when they choose to recycle, reduce, or reuse! 

I would like to thank each member of the youth communities of Eje San Martin, Vida en Cristo, Nuevo Amanecer, Lumen Gentium, JAE, Eje Villa Sol, San Francisco, Caphonu y Juventus for having started an honest commitment to protect God’s creation.  It is also worth mentioning that the funds from the sale of the recycled materials collected in this campaign will be used to help provide Chocolatadas (Christmas parties) provided for children and the elderly in various marginalized communities throughout Lima.   

By Sr. Katty Huanuco

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