Gratefully we can see that our community of Animators keeps growing in San Antonio, Texas. Thanks to all her efforts, Sister Marylou Rodriguez is becoming a Laudato Si animator this year. Her passion to spread Pope’s message made her work in collaboration with Brother Adolf Appuli and Alejandro Balderas, they both obtained their certification as LS animators in 2022. Recently, they carried out events in University of the Incarnate Word, and Incarnate Word High-School.  

On May 19th I had the opportunity to give a short talk with students and teachers of the Incarnate High School. It was amazing to experience how Sister Marylou has been engaging the student community with Laudato Si. 

In our session we had the opportunity to talk about how new generations and young people around the world are becoming climate leaders, while doing advocacy for climate justice. With all the youth taking actions to take the lead in promoting this cause, we want to highlight that we all have talents and the voice of the youth is very important for a better world.  The world we are living in can only be sustained by the collaborative efforts of all people especially for the sake of the vulnerable, the voiceless, and the poor.

We did also have an exercise of reflection, “The Web of Life”, where students and teachers learned how every creature in the Earth interacts with each other and with every element of earth. Final thoughts were around the love of God and how he loves every creature on earth.

Some questions regarding Laudato Si, Pope Francis, science, climate change and The Letter film were answered. “Did you know Challenge?” is the name of such a great learning resource. We were also inspired by reading some paragraphs of the encyclical. Participants did not leave the session empty-handed, winners received some eco-friendly bags, reusable cutlery kits, among other things. Our main objective was to invite more people to start moving towards eco-conversion through small steps.

Finally, we took the opportunity to acknowledge one of the students who has been inviting the community to start with ecological practices in school. In the cafeteria, she invites their classmates to know more about the Laudato Si movement and challenges her friends to follow sustainable practices and more.

A beautiful prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi closed the event. Laudato Si Sparks event attendees are looking forward to the next school year where they can continue working with “The Letter” film and pursuing the dream of having a more sustainable and green Incarnate Word High School in the near future.