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Kudos Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother for successfully making Laudato Si revolution alive in the Caribbean Island!

The Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development, is a ministry of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother serving in three Caribbean islands; Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and Saint Lucia. At the Franciscan Institute, they are dedicated to promoting a culture of peace where right relationships and community are nurtured in the Franciscan tradition of compassion, moderation, simplicity, and reverence for all creation.  They aim to assist the participants to improve their quality of life by teaching non-violent ways of relating to self, others, and creation.

The institute commenced their partnership initiatives during the Covid-19 lockdown to raise digital awareness of the LS Revolution campaign. The institute created a digital social media campaign during key environmental days with the aim to encourage and promote integral ecological conversion, i.e., environmental, economic, and social ecology.

On May 24th, 2020, they embarked with a partnership invitation with the OFM Franciscan Friars JPIC office initiative Laudato Si’ Revolution Campaign. This special campaign began during the Laudato Si’ anniversary year from May 24th, 2020 and will end on May 24th, 2021. They also facilitated a Laudato Si’ Online Youth Program. This online youth training program was creatively designed in celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si’ and Laudato Si’ Week.  The 5-day program started on Sunday May 24th and ended on May 28th, 2020.There were a total of 74 registrants with an average of 42 persons attending each day.  Participants were from several different countries, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, and Canada.     

As part of their collaboration and response to the Laudato Si Revolution Campaign, the institute conducted a Laudato Si’ community outreach sessions at the Good Shepard RC Chapel, Corosal during the month of January and February. They learn that the community does not have access to pipe borne water. This proves to be a daily challenge to find water for drinking, cooking, bathing etc. The community rely solely on rain harvested water, however, during the dry season the lack of rain is a reality they face every year. Another challenge the community must endure is the deteriorating road conditions, whereby, the primary school children must walk to school. In addition to this, the nearby state-owned quarries have extended and use all sources of natural spring water and ground water.

Their cries for help from the government, local organizations including the archdiocese and media have gone unheard. Regardless of these conditions, their resilience as a community is evident. They were welcomed with warm hospitality and vibrant Eucharistic services at each visit. As a result, seven (7) youths agreed to form a Laudato Si’ youth group where they would meet once a month at the community hall. The institute will assist with mentoring this Laudato Si’ youth group.