Reflection and contemplation on Laudato Si’ from Africa

April 6, 2021

Listening to the cry of creation is essential to face the difficult times the whole world is currently going through and has become an opportunity to have a positive impact in Africa despite the circumstances.

Anthony Makunde’s biblical reflection reminds us that we are called to make deliberate decisions to improve environmental conditions and stop the violation of human rights.

In this Easter season where we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord as a victory, destined not only to liberate part of God’s creation but to restore the entire universe to its original harmony with God its creator (2Cor. 5:19).

“When we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus and his triumph over the cross, we also celebrate the triumph of creation.”

The celebration of Easter becomes an urgent wake-up call for Catholics to work for the restoration of the peaceful and harmonious relationship we share with nature that we have so neglected.

Pope Francis reminds us that “human life is grounded on three fundamentally and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth itself” (Laudato Si, 66)

The month of April is mainly dedicated to remembering the environmental activists who day by day fight against the harms that affect creation and humanity, especially those who succeeded in obtaining compensation for people affected by the impunity of multinational companies, particularly fossil fuel companies in Africa.

We can see the bright light brought by the risen Lord shining on a broken and frustrated society that has taken different measures in different countries in Africa to share the love for creation based on the Laudato Si’ Encyclical.

St. Jude’s rooftop garden

Sr. Immaculate

St. Jude’s rooftop garden 

Sr. Immaculate 

In Kenya, for example, the rooftop of St. Jude’s convent was transformed into a beautiful garden, taking inspiration from St. Francis of Assisi, who once said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible”. As a result of this initiative, several species were grown successfully.

In Zambia, the effects of climate change have led to flooding in overcrowded slums without adequate drainage systems, severely affecting many Zambians, and the government’s default on its Eurobond debt is further aggravating the situation by reducing the possibility of accessing loans.

In Uganda, Sr. Immaculate, following the echo of her heart and listening to the call of Mother Earth by becoming a Laudato Si’ Animator, lives each day committed to her ecological conversion to achieve climate justice to restore the environment to its original purity.

In Nigeria, the Stewards of God’s Creation circle has been created as a group of 50 members who share experiences in their parish bulletin to educate parishioners about the climate and encourage them to contribute to the healing of our common home.

To further care for our common home, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, together with the Global Catholic Climate Movement and more than 150 partners, invites you to join Laudato Si’ Week 2021 (May 16 -24, 2021) where Catholics will come together in solidarity for a better tomorrow.

With “Celebrating Change” as the theme, Laudato Si’ Week will be a week of celebration, action, and testimony. Check details and resources at https://laudatosiweek.org/.