COSTA RICA, Randall Barquero, Laudato Si Commission, Schoenstatt Costa Rica •
The Schoenstatt Movement’s Laudato Si Commission in Costa Rica was formed in 2016, one year after the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical. Within the context of the Laudato Si Week of the Universal Church (May 16th to 24th), we shared some general details about this commission and its work. —
In 2016, the year after the publication of the Encyclical Laudato Si, the Schoenstatt Movement in Costa Rica committed to build its first branch shrine, and a few months later it was confirmed that this desire of many years would become a reality. The blessing was on March 18, 2017. Maria Fischer was in our country covering the event for schoenstatt.org, and perhaps you remember that from that moment on, the movement was concerned that it be an act “in harmony with nature”.
Ecological Shrine, with a blue flag
Following Pope Francis’ call in his Encyclical Laudato Si to take care of our “common home”, the Schoenstatt Movement from Costa Rica decided that this special event would be held in a responsible manner with the environment; it was awarded the Blue Flag!
The Movement was registered under the category of Special Events of the Ecological Blue Flag Program (PBAE). It consists of a recognition that the Government of the Republic awards when a massive event is carried out responsibly with the environment, applying strict hygiene standards, separating waste and practicing recycling. After a rigorous evaluation, they confirmed that the required parameters were fulfilled and exceeded, and they awarded the Blue Flag with an outstanding rating.
A shrine that exemplifies the care of the common home
By this time, our Laudato Si Commission was born, with the idea that this new tico shrine could also be an example of the care of the common house to which Pope Francis was calling us. My wife Patricia and I had the blessing and responsibility of being instruments of the Blessed Virgin for this project, and we were part of the commission from the beginning.
Over the time, more people have become aware of and supported the cause of evangelization and environmental awareness within the movement, and we have reached out to the community with some activities. We have also participated in a Costa Rican governmental program to recognize the effort in ecological matters, called “Bandera Azul”, which has a category for ecclesiastical organizations.
Environmental educational activity with children, after Sunday mass Familia de Esperanza Shrine
Videoconference: Everything is connected
For the past Laudato Si week we carried out diffusion of the main messages, and in addition we presented a videoconference during the weekend, in which several experts talked about the motto “Everything is connected” and what it means to them.
Original spanish 2020-05-20. Translated by María Aragón, Monterrey, México