Click here - Tree Planting Ritual, Philippines
For the past two years, our tradition of tree planting has been the main activity in the observance of Laudato Si Week, June 11-17 which was launched by the Global Catholic Climate Movement on June 17, 2017. This movement promotes Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home. Its objective is to raise awareness about Pope Francis’ powerful ecological message that stresses the urgency of taking action to stop the destruction of Mother Earth and care for it as our common home.
It reminds us that Mother Earth, our common home, cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. The Violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, water, air, and in all forms of life.
It is our moral imperative individually and communally to stop our destructive habits and restore the integrity of God’s creation. Our tree planting today is one response we are taking to care for Mother Earth. This is not enough. Let us continue to be challenged to find more ways to restore the integrity of God’s creation.
Until 2018, our tree planting was held June 25, Philippine Arbor Day, formally observed in 2004 when then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo issued Proclamation 396, declaring June 25 as Philippine Arbor Day, stating that “it shall be observed throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities.”
In this proclamation are the following provisions:
the necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and re-greening of the environment
the need to sustain a wide support and success gained from the implementation of Proclamation No. 396 and to institutionalize Philippine Arbor Day
the planting of trees will not only help reforest denuded areas but also make the entire country a greener and healthier place to live in
the necessity to declare a day each year for conducting actual tree planting and foster partnership and environmental stewardship among various sectors of society.
Article and Photos submitted by Sr Veronica Nobleza RGS