The Order of Saint Augustine – Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu held a coordinated tree-growing activities from September 9-10, 2021 across its various communities and mission territories as part of its 4-month-long Laudato-Si’ campaign.
The campaign intends to instigate response from all those who identify themselves with Augustinian traditions at heeding the call of the papal encyclical Laudato Si to address the human roots of the ecological crisis.
Towards this goal, staff and volunteers from its Provincialate Offices and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño planted about 500 endemic hardwood and fruit-bearing trees on September 9, 2021 in the Augustinian property in San Fernando, Cebu. The 500 trees take reference to the Quincentennial Celebration of the introduction of Christianity in the country and the legacy of Christian stewardship of God’s Creation.
Other Augustinian communities also held similar tree-growing initiatives in their jurisdiction on September 10, 2021.
Already, around 2,300 various endemic tree species have been grown by Santo Niño devotees and volunteers since the start of the year in the 10-hectare climate-smart village managed by the Santo Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation, Inc. (SNAF) in the Augustinian mission area in Dumanjug, Cebu. It is part of the “Trees of Hope” project of SNAF to grow 10,000 endemic trees as a symbolic gesture of reconnecting to the integral relationship with God’s Creation.
The campaign sees the COVID-19 pandemic as a symptom of the moral malaise that eroded humanity’s harmonious relationship with its ecosystem.
The campaign is a series of ecology-centered activities spearheaded by SNAF, the social development arm of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Philippine Augustinians. It formally commenced on September 1, 2021 with a Holy Mass, Webinar, and launching of the video call to protect our “Common Home” from profit-driven plunder. It closes with the celebration of human life and dignity on December 10, 2021.
Throughout the period, it strives to foster fraternal charity in Augustinian communities and ministries through nurturance of their duty as stewards of God’s Creation in pursuit of the common good. /with PR from SNAF