By Giada Aquilino
“In the mission of the Church, each baptized person has received from the Holy Spirit a gift which must be developed by participating in the mission itself”, and with regard to Laudato Si ‘, it is “the care of our common home ”. The words of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, on Sunday at Vatican News on the missionary mandate entrusted to Laudato Si ‘animators of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, pastoral workers, young people and all people of good will. Pope Francis had announced it a few hours earlier at the Regina Coeli, when he spoke of the “mandate to spread the Gospel of the creation and to take care of our common home”.
The prayer meeting
Monday marks the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the protection of our common home, published on May 24, 2015. During Laudato Si ‘week, a moment marking the conclusion of the Special Year called by the Pope as a means of reflecting and putting into practice the points of the document. Cardinal Tagle led the prayer meeting at the General Curia of Friars Minor in Rome on Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit inaugurating the mission of the Church.
Rome, Assisi and the five continents
The celebration, followed via the web around the world, began with remarks by Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi during a video link with the Sanctuary of Saint Dominic in the city of Umbria. He explained that it is here that Saint Francis “began to build his house”, opening his heart and responding to the Lord’s call to “mission, action, initiative”. He said today “you are the missionaries: go and repair our common home”, addressing the animators present and the watchmen from the five continents. The Executive Director of the World Catholic Climate Movement, Tomás Insua, coordinated the event.
A proclamation for all time
In his address, Cardinal Tagle noted that at Pentecost “we know that the Risen Christ continues to be with us”. The Archbishop Emeritus of Manila took the floor by inviting all to “be witnesses of its truth to the world”, even and especially in this time of crisis due to the pandemic. To experience Christ, he continued, “is to know that Jesus accompanies us”, as he did with his disciples. Mission, he added, is a “call for life”, an “proclamation for all times”, and means “to accompany others”.
A Church Always Listening
Father Augusto Zampini, assistant secretary of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development and member of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission echoed Cardinal Tagle by saying that “the Gospel of creation is linked to a Church that stretches out its hand … Who takes care of our common This is the beauty of the missionary dimension: to bring the Gospel message and Laudato Si ‘on the concern of our common home and of others, in all parts of the world ”, in all sectors of the community. society, also recalling how the Pope calls for “a profound change in the economy, which is sick because it causes inequalities, social diseases, conflicts and damage to creation”, added Father Zampini.
A beacon of light
The “yes” to the missionary mandate came from the leaders of Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Washington, Rome and Assisi, an acceptance of the responsibility “to hear the cry of the Earth and of the poor”, the unhappy victims of suffering and of deprivation in India as well as in Brazil, that Father Michael Perry, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, recalled in his intervention: “these are people who really carry the Cross” and to whom ” the opportunity must be given ”, with a view to fraternity and the missionary mandate. The final commitment made is to express everywhere “kindness, love and humility” to be, as Cardinal Tagle underlined while lighting a candle with the participants, “a beacon of light in the life of the Church and the world “.
Mass at the Botanical Garden
Another sign of hope for a renewed commitment of the faithful came earlier in the morning at the Botanical Garden in Rome where Salesian Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, coordinator of the Ecology and Creation office of the Dicastery for the promotion of integral human development celebrated a mass to mark the sixth anniversary of the encyclical Laudato Si ‘. In his homily, he said: “we have received a garden, but we cannot leave a desert for our young people”, while recalling the Pope’s call to all of us to safeguard all of creation.