Updated: September 01, 2021 08:44 AM GMT
The Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi earth chapel at Dr. Yanga’s College in Bulacan province, Philippines. (Photo: Dr. Yanga's Colleges, Inc)
A college in the Philippines has opened the country’s first-ever “earth chapel” to instill a greater love of creation among the faithful.
Dr. Yanga’s College in Bulacan province, north of Manila, opened the chapel, which is covered by plants and artworks that include a mosaic of Italian Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, to commemorate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1.
Pope Francis introduced the special day to remind Catholics of their love for the environment and the earth, their “common home.”
“Saints Francis and Clare’s earth chapel was blessed this morning by our beloved former parish priest, Father Jovi Sebastian,” the college said in a Facebook post.
The chapel was opened despite pandemic restrictions to serve as place of prayer to “weary souls” who hope to seek God during the quarantine, the college added.
The school hoped its students and staff would pay a visit despite their classes being held online.
This earth chapel is bountiful fruit from many generous and kind hearts and minds
The college also thanked the donors who made its construction possible.
“This earth chapel is bountiful fruit from many generous and kind hearts and minds. We thank them for sharing their blessings such as the plants to make this chapel truly one with the environment,” the college said.
Father Jovi Sebastian of Malolos Diocese in Bulacan province said the chapel was a symbol of God’s faithfulness to his people.
“This chapel is now a sanctuary of the Lord. He is here with us. Indeed, we dedicate this as our thanksgiving to God, who never abandoned us in these trying times of our lives,” he said during the blessing of the chapel.
“Does God’s creation remain a gift? If water is a gift, why do we have to spend just to drink clean water? If the earth’s natural resources are gifts, why are there people who profit excessively form them?” he asked in his homily during a Mass to mark the special day at Manila Cathedral.
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