Caritas Philippines has released on May 20 a guidebook for local communities to promote “concrete ecological actions” based on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment Laudato si.
The book is a compilation of illustrated reflections and guidelines on how to live the spirit of the pope’s teaching.
The Catholic Church marks this week the fifth anniversary of the encyclical.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, head of Caritas Philippines, said the Church celebrates Laudato si’ Week not just to remember the document but “to articulate its achievements and challenges.”
He said people should realize that the spread of infectious diseases “is very much related to the destruction of the habitat in our ecosystems.”
Bishop Bagaforo said Catholics have to continue initiatives and accomplish action points “to protect our common home.”
The book aims to help readers examine the personal, leadership, and communitarian “witnessing dimension of our environmental concerns.”
Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said the publication will “help us look at ourselves if we are contributing to the problem or not.”
The priest said the booklet is a reminder to communities of the “small things that we can do” to save the environment and promote “activities that advance ecological awareness.”
The booklet indicated household-level initiatives, such as waste management, recycling, and planting that can be done on a larger scale or at the community level.
It also provided readers with a summary of Pope Francis’ concern on the care of the environment and a synopsis of the pope’s “ecological pathways.”
Jing Rey Henderson, communication and advocacy officer of Caritas Philippines, meanwhile, called on dioceses and parishes to document their best practices on “greening communities.”
Henderson said there are dioceses that have succeeded and are continuing their practices that can be replicated in other places.
On May 17, Caritas Philippines initiated a year-long program called “Green Initiatives” that aims to ensure food security in communities after the coronavirus pandemic.