‘Laudato Si’ Generation
Youth for the Common House, Ecological Conversion in Action
- Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb
“Deforestation, water crisis, forest fires, dramatic climate changes were unheard of in Panama. Today, it is a regular occurrence”, shared a young Panamanian representative.
“We are guilty of the sin of silence, omission, indifference and negligence,” said another.
Similar sentiments were expressed by other young people at the third International Congress on the Care of Creation. The young people then committed themselves to a ‘Laudato Si’ generation.
“Youth for the Common House” Ecological Conversion in Action was the theme of the congress. It was held at the Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua, Panama City, Panama on 19th January 2019.
Around 200 young people and animators, representatives of youth ministry in their own countries, dioceses and parishes participated at a very enlightening day at the Congress. At the start of the congress, the participants were warmly welcomed by Mons. Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, Archbishop of Panama; Mons. Miroslaw Adamczyk, Apostolic Nuncio in Panama; Mrs Raisa Banfield, Vice Mayor of Panama; Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and several others.
Mrs Raisa Banfield expressed her gratitude at the start of the Congress and the celebration of World Youth Day as they commemorate 500 years of Christianity. All the speakers stressed the need for an Ecological Conversion that will result from a change of life style. Prof. Milton Garcia in his session, ‘Yes. It does concern me’, encouraged the participants to take on simple personally choices that will result in a change. The use of water, collective clubs, voting for socially conscious candidates, using the media to communicate a message of change will help change the world”, he said. The talks, while dwelling on the general situation of the world, reflected the situation of Papua New Guinea.
“Deforestation resulting in climate change; extraction of minerals with no concern for the environment; the looming rape of the sea bed and above all the disposal of rubbish and trash, especially that of plastic bags and bottles are destroying our naturally rich environment. All this leads to worsening the effect of poverty of our people,” said Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, the only representative from Papua New Guinea.
The session after lunch were dedicated to discussions in language groups and were a search for answers. The young people then proposed the “Laudato Si” Generation. It is a network of Catholic youth, committed to remaining faithful to the teachings of our Holy Father.
The official launch of this new network was done in the presence of the Holy Father on Friday, 25th January, 2019.