KENYA: Laudato Si Africa Screens The Letter, Urge Faithful and People of Goodwill to Watch

By Paschal Norbert

NAIROBI, MAY 26, 2023 (CISA)– The Letter: A Message for Our Earth, is a film released in October 2022 and tells the story of six protagonists from Africa, the United States, India, the Vatican, Brazil and Ireland, including Pope Francis discussing the encyclical Laudato Si.

At the screening held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on May 25, Prince Papa, Laudato Si’ Movement’s Africa Program Manager explained the prophetic message of the film and its significance to the African audience.

“The Letter is a good documentary. It’s a kind of softened version of the Laudato si encyclical. The letter features Pope Francis as one of the major characters. Another character is coming from Senegal, Arouna Kandé, a Muslim, a victim of floods, and a climate refugee. We also have a scientist from Hawaii in the US. Greg Asner, a marine biologist, with his wife, Robin Martin, also a marine biologist, who focus on life underwater, and we also have a youth represented by Ridhima Pandey from India as well as the Laudato Si Movement itself, represented by the chairperson of the board, Dr Lorna Gold,” Prince Papa expounds on the protagonists.

Prince Papa avows that The Letter is important for everyone to watch since it gives a different approach to storytelling and amasses the people to reflect on the need to care for our common home. He also says it bridges the gap that was left by the encyclical’s inability to reach everyone.

“We tried to bring it in another dimension of telling a story through a film. This film was released last year in October to make it easier for other people, people who cannot read or write, but can listen, understand, and speak other languages,” he stated.

Prince explains, “The letter has been translated into so many global languages: English, French, Italian, and we continue asking people to translate this message to people. And here, Pope Francis interacts with people at the frontline facing the direct impacts of climate change, like Arouna or the youth right now trying to mobilize the global population to take action on climate change or the voice of science.”

According to the Laudato Si’ Movement’s Africa Program Manager, the success of the whole film is in reaching as many people as possible with the message of hope and the call to stand up to the future of our common home.

“As of now, we have reached almost 9 million, through online viewership. But remember within the Catholic community, we are more than that. So, we want, to reach as many parishes as possible, as many dioceses as possible, but at the same time reaching any person of goodwill with this clear message, a new dimension and another aspect of the encyclical itself,” he says.

As the celebrations to mark the 8th anniversary of the publication of the Laudato Si Encyclical continues, Prince Papa appeals to the faithful and people of goodwill to watch The Letter online or host a free screening for people in their circles, homes and even parishes.