DBST’s Laudato Si’ Certified Environmental Trainer (LS-CET) Program: A Union Between Science and Faith

The only way to tell the story of Laudato Si’ is to get inside it. 

These are the words of Dr. Lorna Gold, President of the Board for the Laudato Si’ Movement, during the press conference for the premiere of the Youtube Originals movie, The Letter: A message for our Earth. It is without a doubt that this is the exact strategy being utilized in DBST’s (Don Bosco School of Theology, Philippines) LS-CET program in order to respond to the call of the church to be responsible stewards of God’s creation. 

For the past 10 weeks, esteemed speakers from both the religious and environmental sectors have been telling the story of Laudato Si’ through the use of theology, ecology, and technology. Such an approach was also used to encourage participants to respond to the call to take environmental issues and challenges seriously. Topics such as cosmogenesis or the origin of the world and ethics of ecology which examines how morality and ecology are related were discussed to lay a moral foundation of what our duties are as stewards of God’s creation and what the creation story truly means. Climate change, sustainability, as well as laws governing the environment were also highlighted to give participants an in-depth understanding of the problems that we are currently facing. In order to provide concrete ways on how to respond to such challenges, hands-on workshops were also in place. Participants engaged in activities such as a coastal clean up and building and installing of low-cost and eco-friendly solar lights. These activities were helpful in making topics such as marine and coastal conservation and solar energy more meaningful and practical.

 While some people may argue that science and faith are polar opposites and can never be combined, the LS-CET curriculum is a perfect example that using science and faith in understanding and in responding to our present concerns is possible. The union of science and faith can actually produce good fruit—that is, the conversion of one’s mind and heart that will lead to specific actions to live out Laudato Si’.

The first run of the LS-CET program has already ended but the actual work has just begun for the pioneer batch of the program as they put their new knowledge and deep understanding into practice. However, it is also important to remember that the call to be protectors of God’s creation is not just a call for these 50 people who took the first step towards ecological conversion. To care for the environment is everyone’s vocation and to live out one’s vocation is pleasing in the eyes of God.