Technology’s total control of us, the loss of our clean rivers and the sense of community gatherings in natural areas, as well as the need for our Churches to take urgent ecological action by stopping the use of plastics in its own events were just a few concerns shared among the gathering that attended the Franciscan Institute’s first Laudato Si’ forum: Hear the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor.
The forum was held last Thursday, May 23, at the UWI Chaplaincy in St Augustine and was one of two major events hosted by the Institute to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ ecological encyclical: Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.
Some 50 persons from various backgrounds including university students, representatives of the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs and members of the Inter Religious Organization attended this forum.
Sr Cecile St Remy SSM welcomed the gathering which was then led in discussion by Fr Matthew Ragbir who sought to locate Pope Francis’ current encyclical within a long Church tradition of Popes addressing urgent crises.
Fr Ragbir stated that at the heart of this ecological encyclical was the question of what it means to be human and what we want for our humanity. He also showed how the current ecological crisis was deeply connected to the crisis of human identity and that the modern turn to technology has prevented us from asking and answering important questions about our existence.
The forum is meant to be the start of ongoing conversations aimed at generating social and ecological consciousness at the university. – The Franciscan Institute
Neal Rawlins of the Orisha Community and IRO makes a contribution. Photos courtesy The Franciscan Institute
Sr Cecile St Remy SSM welcomes forum attendees.