IMBISA Colloquium on Laudato Si’
After four years, today the 1st of October 2019, the Seminary Rectors together with the Professors of the Social Teaching of the Church in the IMBISA Seminaries met in Johannesburg, South Africa for a colloquium on Laudato Sì. The meeting was also graced by the presence of His Excellency Bishop Joseph Sephamola OMI of Qacha’s Neck in Lesotho who welcomed and thanked everyone for their presence and participation.
To kick off the day, one of the Professors in Theology, Fr. Hyacinth Ennis OFM, ventured into the romantic side of the encyclical Laudato Sì and how it is greatly influenced by St Francis of Assisi under the topic “Saint Francis as the example par excellance of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically”.
Conversations went practical when Fr. Mubango from Mozambique unveiled how the Church in Mozambique is promoting good environmental practices through schools as a way of forming the laity in proper agricultural practices.
Fr. Ramochele from Lesotho went further to explain how the Church in Lesotho is working ecumenically with other church organizations in advocating for policies that protect our mother earth. Of interest to note was how the government in Lesotho is selling water to South Africa whilst their rural population is in short supply of this basic need.
‘Reading Laudato Sì after Cyclone Idai that affected Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe gives one a different perspective in our approach to ecological issues according to Fr. Chikuni from Zimbabwe. In his presentation he reiterated the need to address the missing gap in our reflection which is the spiritual conversion so as to raise awareness on environmental issues. According to him, when one relates Laudato Sì and Cyclone Idai, the point can be made that indeed the prophetic voice of the Holy Father and the dangers of environmental degradation should be appreciated.
To conclude the day updates from the seminaries in Maputo-Mozambique, Roma-Lesotho, Luanda-Angola and Cedara-South Africa were done. Sadly, in spite of the excellent work done in all these seminaries, the common challenge facing these institutions in our region is the lack of financial capacity to renovate and maintain them as places of formation for future shepherds in the church. The need to focus on human formation and establishing an association for seminaries in IMBISA was also noted and emphasized.