Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ ‘shows the interconnection of it all’
Suzi Moreira speaks at a post-Amazon Synod event in 2019. Moreira is a Laudato Si’ Animator and is currently finishing her master’s degree in Brazil.
Suzi Moreira of Brazil was in her final year of high school and feeling confused. Was she, or was she not supposed to be a devout Catholic who cared for God’s creation?
On the one hand, she grew up in a strong Catholic household, the daughter of parents who were “concerned about us having a personal relationship with God. Not just go to church every Sunday, but to understand how the Holy Spirit can speak to our hearts and how God will reveal himself to us in the Gospel.”
The family of six also regularly traveled to a farm in the northeast part of the Amazon Rainforest to have “personal contact” with creation, she said.
But on the other hand, she was a teenager with blue hair who loved to act like a teenager.
“I knew I was very different because I always had a very solid Catholic faith, while still being this young random girl with blue hair, and I was really eccentric,” she says on the latest episode of the Global Catholic Climate Movement podcast.
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Moreira also talks about the path that led her to becoming a Laudato Si’ Animator, working as a translator at the Global Catholic Climate Movement, and pursuing a master’s degree in theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
She is currently finishing her master’s thesis on how the body is the backbone of theology in Latin America.
“I was very concerned about the idea of trying to choose a path after school just to guarantee myself in life. I didn’t want to choose a career, a university degree just to fit into the system with how things are done in society. I wanted to do something that gave meaning to my life, that just didn’t give me money,” she said.
During her undergraduate studies in theology, Pope Francis helped her clarify her career path by releasing Laudato Si’.
“The more I read it in my theology course, the more I realized how it related to my life and the way I grew up and the way my parents helped us see the gift of creation as part of revelation of God’s love and this intrinsic calling of the Christian life to take care of creation,” she said.
“It made me start realizing that part of my mission in theology is to help make visible this care for creation as a center part of our being disciples of Christ.”
Moreira also shares why she felt the need to move back to Brazil, after growing up all over the world because of her father’s job with PetroBras, a Brazilian oil company.
“I have a theological calling, and I need to go back to it,” she remembers thinking.
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