VIVAT Workshop on Laudato Si Action Plan

Paul Rahmat SVD

VIVAT International organized the first Laudato Si Action Plan (LSAP) workshop on 21 April 2022. Around 50 VIVAT members attended the workshop with the interpretation in English, Spanish and Italian. The purposes of the workshop were to give an overview of the Laudato Si Action Platform and share initiatives and plans of VIVAT member congregations, including their questions and concerns in dealing with the LSAP. It also aimed at elaborating on VIVAT’s vision, missions, and focuses connected with the LSAP goals and collecting some thoughts from participants for making a VIVAT statement on the Laudato Si Action Platform.

Participants of the first VIVAT LSPA workshop 

Alberto Parise MCCJ, a Comboni Missionary who daily works at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in the Vatican, presented an overarching overview of the Laudato Si Action Platform. Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclic Letter Laudato Si, he emphasized a need for a conversion to Integral ecology. It is a faith journey process that is oriented to a social-cultural change individually and collectively within Catholic Church communities. The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is “an action-oriented 7-year ecological conversion journey in the spirit of integral ecology intended to support and empower families, communities, and institutions to achieve total sustainability.”

Actions will be guided by seven Laudato Si’ Goals that give us something concrete to build a new future together, encompassing the breadth of integral ecology. Integral Ecology is a concept that offers “opportunities for congregations to connect their charism and energize their specific mission, requalify their ministerial service and share responsibility and contribute to the synergy,” emphasized Alberto.

In his presentation “Linking VIVAT to Laudato Si and Sustainable Development Goals”, Paul Rahmat SVD elaborated on the connection of VIVAT’s focus area to LSAP goals and SDGs. VIVAT International focuses on four main concerns: poverty eradication, women and girls empowerment, sustainable development, and a culture of peace. These areas of focus are closely connected to the Laudato Sie goals. The eradication of poverty is related to the Laudato si goal of the response to the cry of the poor, which includes, among others, protecting life, delivering WASH services (Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene), and protecting indigenous people’s rights to their land, culture, and heritage. Response to the earth’s cry, the first goal of Laudato Si, is connected to VIVAT’s commitment to promoting sustainable development. These include, among others: protecting the climate by installing solar panels, insulating buildings, installing cleaner or more efficient cookstoves or appliances, and preserving biodiversity by planting native trees, releasing lands, rivers, sea, and ocean from plastic waste.

As VIVAT member congregations and groups take the initiative or work on the Laudato Si Action Plan, they are also committed to the VIVAT’s concerns and the UN Sustainable development goals.