Environmentalists the world over have been shouting themselves hoarse about the need to care for Mother Earth, if we want to save ourselves from total annihilation. Man’s deaf ear to this critical wake-up call has opened up a Pandora’s box of problems. COVID-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe, and the world’s most vulnerable populations are suffering. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have to wake up to the fierce urgency of the NOW. As Albert Einstein predicted years earlier, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
Amidst all these warnings, Pope Francis’ clarion call via his encylical Laudato Si’, presented to the world in 2015, is now slowly taking root with the involvement of the Church and the Small Christian Communities to Care for our Common Home. Our Holy Father invited us to celebrate the Season of Creation that began on September 1 this year and ended on October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi.
Initiated by the Parish Executive Team, the parishioners of St Anthony, Malwani, Malad, celebrated Parish Family Day on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, with the theme: CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME, through virtual presentations by the eight zones of the parish.
The Canticle of the Sun set the tone for the event with a paean to ‘Sing to the glory of the Lord’. Our Parish Priest, Fr Agnelo’s warm welcome to the parishioners was inspirational; while enumerating the numerous parish activities during the lockdown, he remarked that COVID-19 has been the best teacher, forcing us to take the environment seriously. He urged the parishioners to take off from the Parish Family Day 2019 theme: Take your candle, go light your world.
The environmental champion, our Green Bishop, Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, commended the parish efforts, and urged the community to take this further by building up a Green Team in the parish to implement projects that can make a difference.
Ms Yucca, PPC Vice President, explained how this theme was conceived, about the dream to promote a Green Parish. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’gave it wings, but it took the vivacity of Sr Manisha rscj, the Resource person in the Parish Executive Team, to promote this theme which she articulated eloquently. Her introduction of the theme ended with a positive challenge to each of us: “You and I can make a difference. Are we ready?”
The well-researched virtual items were thought-provoking. Home Gardening presented a multitude of ideas to go organic in limited space, with a little effort, spiced with the ingredients of love and care. Water painted a grim future about the looming water crisis. It has become clear that greater investment in safe water, basic sanitation and hygiene, and essential pandemic protection is vital to protecting the planet, not only in the current pandemic, but also from pandemics to come. The Dance of Creation depicted the ‘Descent of Creation’ from Beauty to Monstrosity through a biblical sequence on the seven days of God’s Creation.
Scary statistics on Deforestation and the hazards of Global Warming, which come in its wake, were followed by a thought-provoking presentation titled Earth for Sale. The impact of Global Warming — strong summer waves, extreme winters, unprecedented rainfall, frequent cyclones and droughts that cripple Nature bring human life to a standstill. Best out of Waste shared tips on how to recycle and turn a pile of garbage into something eco-friendly. They urged us to adopt the five Rs to get the best out of waste—Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle!
The finale by Ms Yucca Gomes, PPC Vice President and Abbe Fernandes, Parish Coordinator of SCCs expressed gratitude to a host of heads and hands that got together to make the enactment of the virtual presentation memorable. The list covered the united efforts of the Zonal Heads, SCC Coordinators and Animators, the Communication Cell as well as the combination of talent that came together to make this virtual celebration a show-stopper!
The zingers of the evening, Zeenaida and Royston, with their well-researched facts, enhanced each presentation with introductory clips that awakened interest to view the production and think about change!
In the final analysis, the message was loud and clear: What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make!