Father Liam O'Callaghan (right) plants a tree outside a madrasa in Nakha village, Sindh province. (Photo: Father O'Callaghan)
Columbans are promoting a podcast series on biodiversity to mark the Season of Creation in Pakistan next month.
“Jubilee for the Earth – A Podcast on Biodiversity and our Sacred Story” is slated to run for six episodes of about 15 minutes each, in both audio and video. It is scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 and run until St. Francis’ feast day on Oct. 4.
The miniseries, produced by the Washington JPIC office of the Columbans and Columbans working in many different countries including Ireland, the US, England, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea and Myanmar, will explore biodiversity and related issues like economic justice, peace, migration and other themes of Catholic social teaching.
Episode three will feature a reflection by Father Liam O'Callaghan, JPIC national coordinator from Southern Hyderabad Diocese, who has served in Pakistan for two decades.
“I tried to highlight diversity and interfaith dialogue in the context of Islam. Forty percent of marine species have disappeared from the polluted sea of Karachi because of waste dumping and the discharge of untreated industrial sewage,” Father O'Callaghan told UCA News.
“This is the reality that the mission and church ministry must engage as it seriously impacts on us all, especially the poor. The government has unveiled big plans to care for the environment but doesn’t seem serious about implementing them. Only joint efforts can save the ecosystem.”
Father O'Callaghan has already sent invitations to 15 parishes of Hyderabad and shared the link on the Facebook page of JPIC and Inter-Religious Dialogue to sign up for the online podcast. More than 1,500 have already done so, according to the priest.
In 2015, with the support of other Columbans, Father O'Callaghan helped translate Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, into Urdu and created an abridged version for schools, parishes and community groups.
According to Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index 2020, Pakistan was the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to climate change from 1999 to 2018, experiencing 152 extreme weather events including floods and heatwaves, resulting in the deaths of 9,989 people.