‘Turn Around’: How Pope Francis, Greta Thunberg inspired Gen Verde’s new song about caring for creation

February 12, 2021

Copyright: Gen Verde

Nancy Uelmen didn’t want to write another doom and gloom song about the climate crisis. The songs, as truthful as they are, rarely motivate people to take action.

Instead, the music director of Gen Verde wanted to help inspire our sisters and brothers around the world to realize that it’s not too late to change our ways and care for our common home.

Nancy Uelmen

The result is the group’s new song, “Turn Around,” a hopeful and inspiring take on how all of us can unite and care for our common home.

“If we understand the beauty of creation and the gift that God has given us… we will want to change our hearts, we will want to protect it,” she said in the latest Global Catholic Climate Movement podcast.

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Nancy had been reading Laudato Si’ and thinking about Pope Francis’ messages in recent years, such as how everything is connected and how we need to change our ways.

She’d also been thinking about the millions of young people, including Greta Thunberg and those in Laudato Si’ Generation, who are consistently raising their voices against the climate crisis and for a more resilient future.

“[It] was really important to [highlight] how young people were so much on the frontlines in the battle to say, ‘Look things have to change.’ It’s their future that’s at risk,” she said.

Nancy wrote the words and the music for the song, which also features the group’s other members, currently 18 other women from 14 countries who all live in Loppiano, Italy, a community of the Catholic Focolare movement.

The song and the music video also showcase contributions from 35 children and teenagers from nine countries.

Nancy has modeled the changes she hopes to inspire through the song. She has started small, using soap rather than shower gel in plastic bottles, and by eating meat once or twice a week rather than every day.

“If you think that I have to change everything and completely transform my whole [life], maybe I won’t do anything,” she said.


She’s also remained steadfast in asking God to guide our work as we care for our common home.

“We can’t do this by ourselves. We need God to guide us,” she said.

“It’s not an easy path… but if we all turn around together, I really do believe that we can do it. I really believe that there is hope, that it’s not too late to turn around.”