Franciscans commit to explain Laudato Si’ to wider audience

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QUEZON City, Oct. 7, 2015 – Accepting it as great challenge, the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) in the Philippines has affirmed its commitment to explaining Laudato Si’ to a world that expects much from the children of Francis, the saint who inspired the encyclical.

“We cannot escape from the people’s great expectations. This should cause us a big shame if we shun away from this challenge. I am afraid the world may consider us false Franciscans, worse than non-biodegradables, unworthy of financial support and attention,” says Fr. Cielito R. Almazan, OFM, Minister Provincial of Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista, in a letter issued Oct. 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

He tells his fellow Franciscans it is high time they share how they and their communities are trying to live out the ideals of their founder.

Almazan also calls on his confreres to stand tall like St. Francis through what he refers to as a “bold and joyful Franciscan witnessing in words and actions” and in their “simple lifestyle in the global community.”

“Now is ‘kairos’ (time) to show our worth,” he stresses.

While he admits there may be intellectuals who happen to know more about the encyclical, Almazan points out these people still cannot help approaching them simply because they are Franciscans.

“They believe the Pope’s message is in our psyche. It is in our DNA. The spirit of St. Francis through our studies and formation has made a home in us,” the minister provincial explains.

According to him, Franciscans tackle the song that gave Laudato Si’ its name in their formation.

“In our celebrations, we sing the song ‘Canticle of Brother Sun,’ again and again, especially in the Transitus. It is included in our songbooks. In our Franciscan studies, we take it in a more scientific way,” Almazan notes.

“Brothers and sisters, let us begin again for until now we have done very little,” he adds. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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