In Brazil, responding to Laudato Si’ as a community

August 19, 2020

The majority of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil. (photo by lubasi)

Rodrigo Fadul of Brazil turned his personal reaction to Laudato Si’ into a community response earlier this year.

Rodrigo felt moved by Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology that calls on all people to take action against the climate crisis and care for creation.

“Laudato Si’ made me rethink my way of life and consumption. I’ve been thinking more before I buy something I’m wanting, I’m wondering if it’s really necessary. I’m rethinking the way I use the car, the disposal of materials. These are small actions, but they can generate transformations,” Rodrigo said.

So months ago, before helping his students learn about the encyclical, he joined thousands of people on six continents and became a Laudato Si’ Animator, a champion for Catholic action on climate change.

Animators connect weekly through Zoom calls and learn from world-renowned experts about the teachings of Laudato Si’ and the root causes of the climate crisis.

They share their personal stories and reflections through message-board conversations that aid everyone’s ecological journey.

For their final projects, Animators take action for their community.

Rodrigo works as a specialist at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná in Brazil, and he helped a group of Catholic college students educate their country on the world-changing message of Laudato Si’.

To honor the fifth anniversary of the encyclical in May, he helped a handful of college students organize and host a webinar that spread Laudato Si’s powerful message of integral ecology to hundreds of Brazilians.

“Our goal was to celebrate the five years of Laudato Si’, awakening in young people the desire to put into practice various social and environmental actions,” he said.

“It is increasingly clear to me that ‘everything is interconnected’ and that we need to join forces to overcome the great socio-environmental crisis we are experiencing and promote integral ecology.”

If the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics followed the teachings of Laudato Si’, Catholics on six continents would drastically change creation for the better.

But if the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, in addition to changing their ways, then helped hundreds more people learn about Laudato Si’? They’d be following Rodrigo’s lead.

“[Laudato Si’ is] an opportunity to change the world, to take up our responsibility to care for our common home and to invite others to this mission,” Rodrigo said.