By Sister Helen Galadima
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform, Goal One: Cry of the Earth holds a special place in the lives of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Province of Africa and the entire congregation. We become a Laudato Si’ congregation the moment we commit ourselves to the seven-year goals of Laudato Si’.
In Laudato Si’, the concept of the “Cry of the Earth” highlights the urgent and desperate state of our planet, calling attention to the environmental degradation and ecological crisis to which humanity has contributed. This phrase encapsulates the idea that Earth itself is suffering and in need of our immediate attention and action. For this reason,
- each community in the Province of Africa observes a prayer for peace on the 18th of each month, and deliberately prays for an end to all forms of violence and for the healing of Earth, our common home.
- we also plant trees in our communities and schools. Timber harvesting demands the planting of new ones.
By referring to Earth’s cry, Pope Francis emphasizes the interconnectedness between nature and human beings. He underscores the importance of recognizing the intrinsic value and dignity of all creation, urging individuals and communities to take responsibility for the care and preservation of our common home.
The Cry of the Earth serves as a call to action, demanding a change in attitudes, behaviors, and systems that harm the environment. It urges us to address issues such as pollution, deforestation, climate change, loss of biodiversity, and unsustainable consumption patterns. Pope Francis emphasizes the need for ecological conversion, encouraging a shift towards lifestyles and practices that promote ecological sustainability and social justice.
Through the Cry of the Earth, Laudato Si’ invites us as individuals, communities, and institutions to work together in protecting and restoring Earth through our advocacy, activities, and the recognition that our well-being and the well-being of our future generations are essentially tied to the health of our planet.