The Legal Alternatives for Women Center, Inc. (LAW, Inc.) has a memorandum of cooperation with the Archdiocese of Cebu; so first week of September in Sa Mata sa Kababayen-an in the Cebu Catholic Television Network, Rev. Fr. Murphy Sardonas came to discuss what is currently celebrated, the Season of Creation. A Season of Creation is like Season of Christmas or Season of Lent. The practice came from the Eastern Orthodox Church. This is the Catholic Church integrating ecological concerns and the main principles of the encyclical on these concerns, Laudate Si in the practice of their faith.
Actually, Fr. Murphy emphasized that from the very beginning what the Creator called for was stewardship over the earth and her treasures for human well-being and not domination or control for individual gain.
The program showed the opening last September 1 consisting of an ecological parade-procession of mainly consecrated women and men and students from Catholic schools. As the participants walked towards the Basilica del Sto. Niño they picked up trash that had been dropped on the road as well as in the sidewalks.
For the coming weekend, there will be an overall cleanup starting with a thorough cleanup within the parishes. Parishioners will be reminded about the problems resulting from indiscriminate throwing of garbage like the floods that results from the rains and uncleaned canals.
On September 22 education-reflection sessions resulting in Ecological Spirituality Formation will begin by districts. The archdiocese has been divided into districts. District 1 which includes the parishes from the Cathedral to Talamban to Capitol will have their session. Discussion will cover an analysis of the environmental situation and the principles from Laudate Si. The importance of balancing development efforts with conservation will be stressed. “Let us leave the coming generations with a healthy flourishing earth” will be a constant refrain. The issue of ecological justice will be asserted.
In relation to this he shared how a mining firm rehabilitated an area which it exploited and transformed this into a garden.
Again Fr. Murphy stressed the importance of habits and attitudes. Many are so used to just dropping candy wrappers and other wastes along the way. We need to consciously get rid of such anti-social behavior. We need to get out of our dependence on plastics. We have to be ready with re-usable shopping bags. We should replace plastic bottles with glass or other re-usable containers for water and other drinks. Filipinos need to be reminded of a very beautiful attitude, they used to have—a stewardship attitude, recognizing to always ask permission, because we are not the owners. I was reminded of a group of women in a project to install a water system. They set aside funds for an offering for a ritual to ask permission from the real owner of the land, the God of Creation.
I am very glad to hear that the archdiocese is really going all out for tree growing. In fact it has committed to the planting of 500,000 trees and will be into tree growing starting with the vicinity of the parish and other church properties.
Parishioners will be encouraged to do this in the vicinity of their homes or on empty lots nearby.
The church will also actually go into renewable energy. It has committed itself to use solar energy in church establishments and has actually connected with a source.
The reason behind the Season of Creation winds up in the first week of October is that October 4 is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, devoted to the earth and its creatures. In relation to this there will blessing of pets in San Roque Parish in Mambaling on October 6. But I have observed that other parishes also bless pets.
In the countryside work animals — cows and carabaos — are also brought to church for the blessing. According to Fr. Murphy this is a recognition of the partnership between them and us.
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