By Sr Lena CSJ
Seoul, South Korea, 4 July 2021 -- Since May 2020 the Caritas Sisters of Jesus have been living up to Pope Francis' advice since the special anniversary of Laudato Si', in solidarity with the Catholic Climate Action and the JPIC Committee of the Korean Women Religious Association street campaign.The Sisters have been on Seoul city's streets at least 60 times!
Why do the Caritas Sister join this weekly environment campaign?
Every Friday for one hour (11:30 AM - 12:30) on the streets of Seoul we inform the Church and society of the seriousness of the climate crisis through the Catholic Climate Action, on Gwanghwamun Street, a place where many people visit. We hold picketing campaigns to inform them of the global warming climate crisis. When I first started, passers-by looked at me uncomfortably, as we were holding pickets, but now they give me a thumbs up and give me snacks, saying ‘thank you’ and cheering me on. It has been a year since I started. There were many situations where it was difficult to participate in the field due to COVID-19, but if we were unable to attend the site, we participated from the convent.
As religious sisters, it was not easy for us to go out into the streets with the first picket campaign. But it seems that it is not the time to hesitate, the cry of the Earth, the urgency to do something to lower the earth's temperature as the infectious disease is intensifying, has given me courage to take to the streets.
Why are the Caritas Sisters active in the Laudato Si Campaign?
As Individuals – we witness to an ecological life for a healthy relationship with nature continuously in each person’s life and in our mission (apostolate). In this way we change the lifestyle of convenience and abandonment.
In order to preserve God's Creation and restore ecological life, we shift our gaze to God and change the direction of life such as a new way of life, a new community, and a new mission.
In the apostolate - less consumption to 'reduce carbon emissions' by fasting, sharing and stripping things away to 'save energy and resources', and promoting, educating and training people in separate garbage collection. Solidarity and efforts are made in accordance with each apostolate.
What changes in your life through this Laudato Si Campaign?
Our Seoul province community action is based on the words of Laudato Si - Praise be to you! - 'a common home, where everyone lives together'. We strive for a home where no one is excluded, and all life is protected and valued. We contribute to education for environmental preservation: ecology and the social doctrine of the Church.
We practise concrete solidarity and make efforts to live in real poverty, for example, participating and encouraging participation in education and forming closer relationships with the poor. We strive directly to help and share, and to live in real poverty.
Also in preparation for our 18th General Chapter, through the 6th Seoul provincial chapter, we decided to make more efforts in the future with the above resolution.
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