by Sr. Prisca Ovat, MMM Kenya/Nigeria 12.06.2023
“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek sustainable and integral development. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home” Pope Francis: Laudato si.
This opening quote expresses Pope Francis’ appeal to humanity, awakening its consciousness toward the care of our environment. At the time when this encyclical was released, not many understood what the Pope wished to communicate, or so it seemed. However, the Laudato Si movement (LSM), which I recently joined, sprang forth to life by advocating for the care of the earth. Recently making social media rounds is the movie; THE LETTER, powerfully backed by the aforementioned movement. One clear fact from the movie is this: unless we do something radical, consumerism shall soon consume us.
It is unachievable to allude to building a better future without the perception of imminent environmental crises. There must be a conversation involving everyone where indifference and denial of the problem can be addressed. Regrettably, these efforts at curbing climate change have proven ineffective for a lack of interest and the presence of forces too powerful to oppose.
Undoubtedly, there exists an intimate relationship between the poor and the vulnerability of the planet. The poor, on the one hand, bear in their helplessness, the odds forced down on them by the powerful. And on the other, the planet awaits humanity to save it, the same humanity destroying it in its defenselessness. As a result, we get out of the planet what we put into it through air pollution, genetically modified organisms, ocean acidification, water pollution, overfishing, and deforestation; the list can go on.
The said movie has the capacity to melt an obstinate soul because it is rather too deep to be ignored. It was here that I, more than ever, received my ecological conversion and this transformation was soon adopted by our staff here at St. Mary’s Medical Center-Eldoret. As an active and certified member of the LSM, I share in the mission and vision of mobilizing communities to care for our common home and attain climate and ecological justice.
Some of the capstone projects involved the initiation of one or more activities toward this collective rescue mission. The movie was a starting point through which the staff for three consecutive days, drew reflections as they watched along. Lessons and practical ways of achieving this were shared within groups. Part of our commitment was to seek out other ways to utilize plastic bottles as opposed to the traditional method of discarding them. Practically, the making of flower vases appealed to all. With all up on deck, this beautiful craftwork emerged, they are the works of our fingers, and flowers were immediately planted. Moving forward, an awareness has been created, and a consciousness to care awakened in response to the invitation by Pope Francis whose plea to defeat the throwaway culture that is quickly becoming a norm and a celebrity cannot be neglected. Truly, unless we do something radical, consumerism shall soon consume us.