Redemptorist priest Oliver Castor (left) performs during a three-hour show in Quezon City on Oct. 1 to promote the message of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si'. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
A group of priests and seminarians in the Philippines are promoting Laudato si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, through songs and music.Speaking before a gathering dubbed “Laudato Sing” on Oct. 1, seminarian Herbert Padillo said they want to raise awareness about the impact of destructive projects to communities. Padillo, who spoke in behalf of the religious group Nicodemus Solidarity, said the gathering aimed to help spread the message of environmental protection.”The rich lessons of Laudato si’ ought to be understood by the public,” he said. “But if words still fail, songs might help to better realize the message it conveys.”A group of independent artists and bands joined the priests and seminarians in a three-hour performance at St. Clement Mission Seminary in Quezon City. Redemptorist priest Oliver Castor said music had always been an important part of the lives of Filipinos. “Most of the time, we sing our feelings or emotions out, whether happy or sad,” he said. ”We have a lot of songs that tell stories of love, suffering and success, but we also have songs that tell us our role in the protection of our common home.”Father Castor, who has written songs promoting the protection of the environment, said it was “high time to propagate songs that encourage us to take concrete ecological actions.”He called on faith-based organizations to use music as a “tool to translate” the pope’s encyclical to the “language or tune of the common people.”The Protect Sierra Madre for the People, a network of church and pro-environment groups, said it would bring “Laudato Sing” to schools and communities. The group said a number of Filipino artists and bands had already expressed support for the idea.