ARCHDIOCESE OF CACERES JOINS CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME:Pope Francis marks 5 years of Laudato Si Encyc

The Church-wide celebration of Laudato Si’ Week got underway on Sunday, with Pope Francis inviting everyone to take part in the care of our common home in a Laudato Si’ Week, which runs from 16-25 May 2021. Laudato si’, which literally means “Praise be to You,” was published June 18, 2015, and was dated May 24. Pope Francis took the name for the encyclical from St. Francis of Assisi.

In the Archdiocese of Caceres the anniversary week activities were led by Fr. Marcel DP. Real, Executive Director of Caritas-Caceres and the Caritas-Caceres Ecology desk with Fr. Eric P. Bobis of the Archdiocesan Ministry on Ecology.


In his opening statement, Fr. Real welcomed sixty participants from the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi (Himaao), Christ the King (palestina) and St. Raphael the Archangel (Pili). He stressed that Laudato Si is about “inter-relatedness of generations, hence, the need to care for our common home for future generations.”


A concelebrated Liturgy of Creation at the Caritas-Caceres.


Development Center (CCDC) grounds marked the beginning of the week’s celebration which was followed by tree planting. A total of one hundred forty six seedlings consisting of fruit-bearing trees, critically endangered tree species and endemic trees were transplanted on the grounds such as bani, putat, bahay, malabayabas, bitaog, cacao, rambutan, bignay, guyabano, cacao and camagong. Youth volunteers from Christ the King Parish present were hearing the names for the first time.


In the days to come nomenclature, which is the labelling of the existing foliage in the area, shall be done in partnership with the ENRO. Scientific names, local names and age of the standing trees in the area shall be identified and aptly labelled, thereby transforming the area into an ecopark for education and leisure.


Following the tree planting and caring, the participants convened for a symposium on Laudato Si: A Journey of Creation. In his talk, Rev. Fr. Erwin B. Bismonte, parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi Paris. and assistant director of Caritas-Caceres talked about the enclycical. Summarizing the salient points of the document, he started off with what is happening to our common home, citing pollution and climate change, scarcity of drinking water, loss of biodiversity, decline in the quality of human life, breakdown of society and global inequality as the problems that people and government have to respond to.

Fr. Bismonte finished off with Pope Francis’ call for “personal and communal conversion away from consumerism and “’collective selfishness,’” and invites persons toward lifestyles animated by sound ecological virtues, i.e., “good habits,” that must be developed. Ecological education – which should provide information and seek to form habits – must occur everywhere in society: “at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis … political institutions and various other social groups … and all Christian communities”


The symposium ended with statements of commitment from the participants on eco-action and lifestyle change on the spiritual and lifestyle dimension.


Caceres Archdiocesan Ecology Plan


The Laudato Si anniversary week on May 24, 2021 was concluded by a Liturgy of Creation with Ab. Rolando J. Tria Tirona as the main celebrant, blessing of the PanTREE nursery at San Jose Preparatory Seminary grounds, tree planting in the Instituto de Caceres, launching of the Green Patio Project.


Importantly, Fr. Eric Bobis also said that Laudato Si has been included in the curriculum of the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary. Other Ladato Si activities lined up within the year include celebrating the Season of Creation during the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.


In another related story, a Laudato Si Garden in San Isidro Elementary School in Naga City will be blessed on May 24, 2021 by Rev. Fr. Roldan Tordilla, Parish Priest of Mater Salutis Parish in Cararayan and Fr. Fausto Rodel Malanyaon of the Society of Our Lady of the Trinity (SOLT) The garden was inspired by the Pope’s encyclical and was put up by teachers Ms. Rebecca Nacario, Rea Malanyaon and school principal Mr. Jesus Pascual b. Aguilas who envisioned the garden to be a source of nutrition for the school’s preschool children and IGP for the mothers in the community of Cararayan. (Caritas-Caceres News)