On 22 May, the Forum of the Integral Ecology of the Comboni Family in America was held online on the theme “Towards a missionary ecological conversion”. More than 75 Comboni missionaries (brothers, priests, sisters and lay people) shared, for four hours, their pastoral activities in this field of integral ecology as part of the missionary call.
It was a day of sensitization and exchange of work, challenges, proposals and strategies to raise awareness of the planetary emergency and urgency of serious environmental degradation, as well as the great inequalities that affect the whole of humanity.
Encouraged by the Pact for the Common House made during the Synod of the Amazon 2019, the Comboni Family promotes the Comboni Pact for the Common House Común, which Father Dario Bossi (Comboni Missionary participant in the Amazon Synod) puts in context in this article. This pact invites us as missionaries to cultivate two complementary dimensions: reflection (study, prayer…) and concrete attitudes and gestures, and received a strong impetus during the Comboni Social Forum in Belém (Brazil) in 2022, which highlighted the resistance of indigenous people, women and youth to the harassment of the Common House in various forms.
During the meeting, Fr. Juan Armando Goicochea Calderón presented the work of the Laudato Si’ Center of Lima, as a center for formation, research and projects. A School of Formation in Integral Ecology is being organized for Comboni and diocesan pastoral workers. The publication of the book “This earth is in your hands” was an excellent initiative that has helped a lot, especially in the formation of young people. Two other sustainable production projects are underway: beekeeping (which protects biodiversity from industrial monoculture) and the export of organic coffee to Europe.
Mrs. Odile presented the Laudato Si’ Missionary Center of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which seeks to internalize the approaches of Laudato Si’ and to share initiatives to promote the Care of the Common Home. Among its activities are the annual meetings, which involve an exchange between civil institutions and the administration. Its members were present at the X Fospa (Pan-Amazonian Social Forum). In Brazil. Odile emphasized that this center is an opportunity to question the ecclesial pastoral and promote joint work between laity and religious, promoting critical ecological citizenship in defense of the common home. The Center is responsible for disseminating the contents of the encyclical in simple language, and for bringing ecological education to public and private educational centers.
Flávio Schmidt, a Brazilian Comboni layman who has worked in recent years in Piquiá de Baixo (Maranhão) together with the Spanish layman Xoan Carlos Sánchez, participated in the organizing committee of this event. This community of Piquiá continues to suffer from mining contamination and is a symbol of resistance and defense of the Common Home and Human Rights. .