MANILA, August 28, 2014 — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Monday has called on the Catholic faithful to be responsible “stewards of creation” by taking part in the annual “Season of Creation” celebration of the Archdiocese of Manila this coming September.
In a statement, Tagle urged the faithful to “reinvigorate the much needed sense of responsibility for environmental ecology as well as for human ecology,” noting that caring for one’s neighbor goes hand-in-hand with nurturing God’s creation.
“This Season is meant to be a [time] when we truly ‘thank God for the many ways He has gifted our land and resolve to cherish and protect what remains of this bounty for this and future generations of Filipinos’,” Tagle said, echoing the words of the 1988 Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Pastoral Letter “What Is Happening to Our Beautiful Land.”
The Season of Creation, which was first celebrated by the Manila Archdiocese in 2013, is a month-long celebration that aims to implement programs that will emphasize the importance of creation as a “priceless gift of the Almighty and Loving Creator who has made us into his own image and likeness.”
Serving as the Manila Archdiocese’s response to the call made by the CBCP on environmental protection 11 years ago, the ecological campaign aims to recognize and “praise the Lord as the God of Creation.”
This 2014, the Season of Creation will be launched on September 1 through a concelebrated mass to be officiated by Tagle at the Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church) in Parañaque.
It will run from September 1 (Creation Day) and end on October 4 (Feast of St. Francis of Assisi).
“I ardently encourage you to be part of this event and also to raise awareness among your parishioners, constituents and students, so they, too, may meaningfully take part in it and in all other celebrations during our Season of Creation,” Tagle said.
Different parishes and schools within the Manila archdiocese and its suffragan dioceses are expected to join the celebration, emphasizing the importance of the environment through various liturgical, catechetical, and religious initiatives.
Among the proposed activities for the campaign are the inclusion of creation spirituality in liturgies, multi-media activities, environmental symposia, and essay-writing contest, among others.
Preserving beauty, sacredness
Tagle also urged church leaders to “integrate the theme and spirit of the Season of Creation in our liturgical celebrations” to provide a “prayerful setting for thanksgiving to God for creation.”
“Let us educate and form the faithful in our vocation to be stewards of creation, co-workers of God in developing the goods of the earth for the benefit of all, the promotion of the common good and the stability of future generations,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)