“The Letter – A Message for our Earth” was launched in the Vatican on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4th, The Letter is a powerful movie which tells the story of four people from very different backgrounds and the roles they are playing to care more deeply for our common home. Arouna from Senegal is living on the front lines of the climate crisis, Rhidiyma from India, is a young climate activist, Dr. Greg Asner and his wife Robin are marine biologists based in Hawaii and Chief Dada is an indigenous leader from the Amazonian region. It is a letter from Pope Francis which brings these characters together to a meeting in Rome. The movie takes viewers on a journey from Brasil to India to Rome and deep into the heart of the ecological crisis.
The movie is stunningly made by award winning director Nicholas Brown. Making a movie about Laudato Si’ is not an easy task – the encyclical does not exactly have a plot – so the movie tries to bring the essence of Laudato Si’ into a dialogue with Pope Francis and voices from around the world. The real story is about the movement of hearts that is needed to address the damage caused by the human abuse of God’s creation. It is a rallying call for the whole earth. Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ for everyone living on this planet and this is reflected in The Letter as the four voices represent the communities of the indigenous, science, youth and the voice of the poor.
Dr. Greg Asner, who represents the voice of science, said: “The climate crisis cannot be solved by technology … it’s all of you … We need you.” He said we all have a role to play in addressing the ecological crisis. Science can’t solve it. We need each and every person to take action. “Take this message out!” Asner said, “Caring for our common home starts with you. Respond to The Letter by helping your community hear its message.”
This is the task now – to host as many screenings as possible of The Letter around the country. Dr. Lorna Gold, chair of the Laudato Si’ Movement, also stars in this movie as the one who brings the four voices together for a meeting with Pope Francis. At the launch in Rome this week Lorna said, “The Letter is wonderful tool for conversations and dialogues needed for change….we have to allow our hearts to be broken by damage done to earth but then pick ourselves up to create another future.”
“Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’) .
“Faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 3)
“All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 14).
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