A priest sprinkles Holy Water on churchgoers and theirs pets at the end of the Archdiocese of Manila's celebration of the "Season of Creation" on Oct. 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. (Photo by Maria Tan)
Manila Archdiocese concluded its month-long celebration of the "Season of Creation" this year with a call for people, especially the young, to become the guardians of nature.
Hundreds of people brought their pets to be blessed during a Mass on Oct. 4 to mark the end of the season and to celebrate the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi.
"We are continually challenged to live the spirit of Saint Francis as articulated in the present context by Laudato Si’," Father Edwin Gariguez, head of the social action arm of the Philippine bishops’ conference said, referring to the pope’s encyclical on the environment.
He reminded Catholics "to go beyond our market consumerist paradigm and to see the beauty and sacredness of the earth."
In his homily, Bishop Teodoro Bacani urged people to "look at all creations as friends."
"It is just a matter of perspective. If we perceive Mother Earth as precious as ourselves, we will not just throw away things that could hurt her," he said.
Franciscan priest Dexter Toledo, chairman of the Ecological Justice Movement, appealed to young people to "disconnect from the virtual world and go online with the environment."
"We need to feel the earth and consider it as our own body," said the priest. He said that with the rapid advance of technology, young people "tend to forget that there is a real world."
The Global Catholic Climate Movement this week announced that 40 global Catholic institutions have made the "largest-ever joint divestment" from fossil fuels.
In a statement, the group said the decision to remove their support for fossil fuels is based on the "value of environmental protection" and the "financial wisdom of preparing for a carbon-neutral economy."