05/18/2020, 12.47
PAKISTAN
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Laudato si’ anniversary celebrated in Faisalabad

by Shafique Khokhar

Bishop Indrias Rehmat noted that nature belongs to everyone because it is our common home and everyone benefits from it. Now our common home is weeping over global warming and pollution. It is our common duty to look after it and not waste its resources.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – The Diocese of Faisalabad yesterday celebrated the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’ with prayers for the care of creation, a seminar and the planting of trees.

Bishop Indrias Rehmat celebrated Mass in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, followed by a seminar. During the liturgical service, worshippers offered special prayers for the care of creation and committed themselves to treating and consuming the resources of the earth and the creations of God with care and love. As an act of love for nature and the environment trees were planted.

People from different walks of life took part in the event, including priests, nuns, catechists, students and representatives of different organisations.

The salient features of Laudato si' were highlighted during the seminar. Bishop Indrias Rehmat presented the encyclical in the local language together with Fr Abid Tanvir, Fr Khalid Rashid and Br Pascal Paulus.

The Daughters of Saint Paul made a presentation about the current situation and the condition of the earth and nature.

During the seminar, Bishop Rehmat said that Pope Francis had invited Catholics around the world to participate in the Laudato si' week, from 16 to 24 May, to encourage care for our common home.

The week is endorsed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and is meant to encourage Catholic communities to take bolder actions in favour of creation.

Bishop Indrias Rehmat told the faithful that nature belongs to everyone because it is our common home and everyone benefits from it. At present our common home is weeping over global warming and pollution. It is our common duty to look after it and not waste its resources.

The prelate recommended the use of local products for daily use based on the needs of the family. He warned against the use of polyethylene bags, which are harmful to health and the environment, saying that people should use recyclable things and paper or cloth bags for shopping.

Br Khalid Rashid, director of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Faisalabad, said that Laudato si' means ‘Praise be to you’. Dated 24 May 2015, it was officially published on 18 June 2015.

Pope Francis took the encyclical’s name from the Canticle of the Sun, a medieval Italian prayer by Saint Francis of Assisi, which praises God through elements of creation such as Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and “our sister Mother Earth”.

The commission translated it into the local language so that everyone could read and understand the message of care and love for our common home.

Br Abid Tanvir, Vicar General of the Diocese of Faisalabad, said that the Word of God also teaches us to love nature and not to pollute it with our dirty deeds, which are destroying nature’s beauty and peace.

Instead, nature should be kept clean and tidy like our homes. People should add more beauty to it by planting more and more trees and plants.

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