Bangalore, 19th May 2020: With the planet still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, a more subdued, mostly digital ‘Laudato Si’ week kicked off on May 16 running through May 24. Pope Francis invited the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to take part in the ‘Laudato Si’ week, which commemorates the Pope’s 2015 Social Encyclical “Laudato Si, on care for our Common Home” – the First Papal Letter focused entirely on the Catholic Church’s teaching on the environment and human ecology.
Announcing the Laudato Si week, Pope Francis said “I renew my urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis. The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue”.
Most Rev. Dr Peter Machado, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangalore inaugurated the week with the solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The Archbishop also symbolically watered plants placed before the altar. This is to give an awareness to all the believers as they participate in the Mass to remind themselves of their responsibility to protect and nurture the nature. The Archdiocese of Bangalore has been actively participating in observing ‘Laudato Si’ week through various programs.
Archbishop Peter addressing the faithful at the Live Mass said, “Our beloved Pope Francis has called all of us to participate in the ‘Laudato Si’ week. We thank God for our nature. God is our creator. We have to protect our trees, animals and all of our human ecosystem which God has created for us. We have to realize that trees too have life. It is our responsibility to protect them”.
Bangalore Archdiocese has been a pioneer in the nation to set up an exclusive commission for ecology, Fr Arokia Dass being the Secretary while Fr Gopu Rajasekar is the Joint Secretary. The commission has chosen a theme for this Laudato si week is "Nurture the Nature to Protect Our Future".
There are exclusive videos that are being produced to circulate among people of all faiths to bring conscientization of the necessity and emergency to care for the environment. The message emphasized invites the people to Pray, Preserve, Protect, and Promote God's Creation. An animation video for children will be circulated to children how in their own simple ways they can care for our common home. A Prayer service based on Job 12:7-10 and Psalm 96 is also organized and the same will be circulated to all the families to pray for the Nature. is chosen for this prayer services.
Fr. Cyril Victor Joseph
Director, Archdiocesan Communications Center