PANAMA CITY – On Sunday 20 January 2019, the Laudato Si volunteers reconnected with nature at Parque Natural Metropolitano to understand integral ecology and individually examine what is most important in life. The Global Catholic Climate Movement together with the Order of Friars Minor for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (OFM JPIC) communed a group of volunteers and led the theological conversations regarding our common home.
Feeling the breeze of the wind, the youth and Franciscans walked among the trees and animals that freely inhabit the park. Most interestingly, the volunteers also basked in the juxtaposition of nature being nestled within a bus city. Through group exhortations, we were reminded of the importance of turning off once in a while and enjoying what God has created for us.
During the retreat, the volunteers were asked when was the last time we encountered God through nature. When have we stopped to deliberately be in silence? When was the last time we reflected on the impact of human activity to a tranquil nature?
Volunteers and Franciscan brothers alike examined the encyclical Laudato Si for phrases that spoke to our being. One volunteer shared about how today’s throwaway culture pervades our daily lives to be more consumerist and how as Catholics, Pope Francis calls us to re-evaluate for the sake of the poor and vulnerable to climate change.
Por: Dewy Sacayan