The motto of my alma mater, The University of Texas, is “What starts here changes the world.” I remembered it at this year’s graduation of the 228 newly-certified Laudato Si’ Animators who completed their training and came together for the joyous graduation celebration on the 8th of this month. 

The graduation commemorated those who completed the last English-language Laudato Si’ Animator training, joining hundreds of others across the world who took the training in other languages. I was inspired by the energy and enthusiasm that brought the Animators together from all corners of the globe, united by the desire to make a difference. 

The desire to change the world:One Animator’s story

-By Sr. Mary Catherine Fodrocy, Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids

I am very happy that I had the opportunity to participate in the Laudato Si’ Animator Training process and graduate. For me, it was an exciting experience of a worldwide gathering of people of goodwill. It is a source of hope. 

The content was balanced and helpful.  Many helpful resources were made available to us. The process brought me to both a new level of understanding and to a new level of using technology. The staff were helpful, and, in the end, I did manage to get to the proper discussion rooms! I was inspired by the graduation. 

I read the Laudato Si Encyclical when it was first published and realized that it required something more than just reading. My religious community, the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, is participating in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. I joined the committee to coordinate the formation of our action plan.  

The Animator training is a practical help for me. It sharpened my awareness of the current global environmental and social crisis we are facing. It means more to me that we are living in a common home and are one human family. That realization is gradually changing my perspective on life and on some decisions I make.

See what the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids are doing 

Check out Sr. Mary Catherine’s video series: Our Common Home & One Human Family

Learn more about Sr. Mary Catherine’s projects and watch her video interview:

Other Animators are talking the talk and walking the walk:

capstone project with policemen, Sr. LILIAN ADHIAMBO PETER, Kenya.

“Connection to others around the world was both profound and vital. Nothing speaks to the need for our action more than our love for our brothers and sisters around the world.  Participating together and sharing ownership of this ministry stirs deep authenticity!  I always felt the Holy Spirit was at work in the faces on my screen!” – Christina Bagaglio Slentz, USA

“I got to know that caring for nature is a God-given vocation and felt renewed to begin anew to care for mother Earth. I also learned that I can help save our planet by raising a prophetic voice. I also reconnected with nature and realized that we all have a common source and are all important. We need each other.” – Florence Isolo, Kenya

“[I really enjoyed] The interconnectedness, the civility, the reverence for what we are being called to do, the diversity, the Pope’s leadership and the constant prayer-filled ecological conversion.” – Jean Kay Simpson, USA

See more stories about our Laudato Si’ Animators 

“[I felt] a profound feeling of connectedness with all those on the program worldwide, knowing that, together, we were partners in God’s on-going work of creation. [There’s] the humble realisation of so much community action in different parts of the world.” – Barbara Hungin, United Kingdom

*”It was amazing to see the global interest in the environmental crisis from a Catholic perspective. I often feel isolated in my concern, but the program dispelled that notion and supplied intellectual and practical tools to spread awareness and practices to help mitigate the crisis.” – John Becker, USA

“A view of environmental protection that is really focusing on God, thus a better fit to my general way of thinking about the World and the Universe. I was encouraged to speak openly with like-minded people about environmental protection, save creation and co-create/re-create as much as we can.” – Katalin Nemák, Hungary

“I met a lot of really interesting people and learned a great deal about the Movement and the encyclical.  Although I give lots of retreats on the encyclical, there were many things I really didn’t know or that were explained so much better than I could have.” – Julia Keegan, OSF, USA 

More new Laudato Si’ Animator graduates in action: 

Protas Fwamba Khaemba, Kenya.

Dementina Hilaria Barros Falcao, Timor Leste

Julia Fernandes de J. Marçal, Timor Leste









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