Dec. 02, 2023 02:35 PM
QUIAPO, Manila – The Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs Ministry (EIAM) hosted seventy (70) participants from different official ministries and organizations of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno to the Dialogue with Creation Forum on the 6th floor of Pope Benedict Building (PBB) this October 7, 2023, from 5:30 in the afternoon to 7:00 in the evening.
In his opening remarks, Rev. Jesus Madrid Jr., Deacon-in-charge, left an insightful question to ponder, quoting Pope Francis’ Laudato Si: “Anong klaseng mundo ang nais nating iwanan sa mga susunod sa atin?” (What kind of a world we would like to pass down to the next generation). This followed by his reflection on what kind of stewards of Creation we have been if we are to look at today’s state of our nature given its remaining beauty, but also with existing challenges.
Emphasizing the Laudato Si, Rev. Fr. Christian “Tootz” Buenafe, O.Carm., guest speaker for the forum, described the Laudato Si as not just a “document” but it is a “platform.” Further, for him, it is a lifetime Pope Francis is offering to us”. Creation, as he explained, “stems from the supernatural, from God, from the Creator.” Yet, we often forget that everything around us comes from God. Therefore, he came up with this holistic and uniting view that will serve as a reminder of our responsibility to take good care and conserve what God has gifted us: “Love of God, Love of Nature, and Love of Creation. Love of neighbors and the whole Creation.”
After the talk, representatives from various organizations were selected to recite the commitment pledge to protect the Common Home. It was followed by the distribution of one hundred twenty (120) plant seedlings to the participants, facilitated by Mr. Mark Joseph Verdadero, in charge of the Events Management Office (EMO). A community song entitled “Paraiso” was played by Mr. Marlon Quintana of Family and Life Ministry (FLM), where everyone happily sang the song while waiving up high the plants received.
During the closing remarks, Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr., Rector & Parish Priest, invited everyone to journey together to protect and nurture nature and the world as we practice our devotion to Jesus the Nazarene. In his words: “…dahil kung may nagnanais na pangalagaan ang ating kalikasan, ating mundo ay siyempre ang ating Tagapagligtas.” (If there is anyone who wants to take care of our nature and the world, it is our Lord).
This Dialogue with Creation forum is designed within the urban setting with the theme “Celebrating and Preserving our Common Home” in line with celebrating Dialogue with Creation Week from October 1-7, 2023. For Silsilah, Dialogue with Creation is one of the pillars of the spirituality of life-in-dialogue, together with God, Self, and Others. This approach aims to build the process of creating a healthy environment for a well-balanced ecosystem for harmony and peace on earth.
– Kidanzac A. Tallada | ADRM & EIAM