THE LETTER OF THE SUPERIOR GENERAL
ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUDATO SÌ SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY YEAR
L.J.C. et M.I.
Dear Oblates, Associates, Partners, Oblate Youth, and all our Friends and People of Good Will,
Wake up and get involved!
The best scientific calculations about our earth’s climate tell us that the human family has at most 10 years before the deterioration of the earth will become irreversible! We have to act now and together, or this precious gift of God will be destroyed by our ruthless exploitation. The fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’ has become the motivating force for building a worldwide network of Catholics and all people of good will to turn this situation around before it is too late.
We Oblates, Associates, Partners, Oblate Youth, and Friends are committed to this urgent need, and I echo here the call of the 2016 General Chapter that everyone become involved in this critical issue.
To assist us, an initiative of the Vatican is providing us with many resources in this special anniversary year. With your community, see how you can participate in these initiatives which can be found in seven languages by googling:
“Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year Plan 2020-21”
24 May 2020 – 24 May 2021
You will see the many significant facets to this Anniversary Year on the website.
The major focus of this anniversary year goes beyond May 2021 and includes launching a plan for various types of communities/institutions to make a commitment to become totally sustainable, in the spirit of Laudato Sì, over a 7-year period. This is a challenge for all our communities and Units. Get involved!
“The Season of Creation”
1 September 2020 – 4 October 2020
One of the events within the special Laudato Sì Anniversary Year is already upon us, a month dedicated to the gift of creation. This is an ecumenical initiative of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and action. Get your place of ministry involved: parish groups, youth groups, catechetical programs, etc.! See the information and resources in six languages at: seasonofcreation.org
The Laudato Sì Special Anniversary Year and the Season of Creation are filled with the spirit of the Oblate charism, bringing together in a holistic way our commitment to evangelize the poor, the calls of the last General Chapter (see: Acts of the 2016 General Chapter, pp. 10. 11,20 #7.3 and 21 #9, English edition) and the priorities of both the Oblate General Service of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation and the Oblate General Mission Committee.
The cry of the poor and the destruction of the environment go hand-in-hand. The present pandemic is but a small sign of the chaos we have wreaked on nature. Future global disasters will multiply if we do not choose to act effectively and immediately in favor of the gift of God’s creation. This is not a call to become an environmental watchdog. At the heart of our mission to evangelize is the call to conversion, accepting the Good News of Jesus. He came to reconcile us with God and with one another; to heal the brokenness within ourselves, and to reconcile us with God’s gift of creation, not as exploiters but as stewards, caretakers. The Gospel calls us as agents of evangelization to restore these relationships at all levels.
Many Oblates and collaborators around the world are already acting to care for our common home in many prophetic initiatives, and for this I thank you. All of us, in all instances of our life and ministry, must embrace fully this urgent concern to act now, to alter the course of human history and opt for the care for God’s precious creation.
During the coming year, our Internal Mission Committee of the General Council will be offering monthly webinars to create a worldwide synergy of creative efforts for turning this situation around. Stay tuned!
Thank you for your commitment. We place this critical opportunity before Our Lady, Mother of the Creator, asking her to move us into action in a significant way during this Special Anniversary Year… and beyond!
In Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI
August 22, 2020