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Laudato Sí Week celebration in Legazpi - May 2021

THE SCJM IN LEGAZPI, PHILIPPINES, RESPONDING TO A VIGOROUS CALL OF CARING FOR OUR COMMON HOME….

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The sisters ventured anew, in these trying times of pandemic, to advocate and promote the “Care of our Common Home” as their active participation in the LAUDATO SÍ WEEK 2021 celebration. Since Legazpi City, Albay, is placed under general community quarantine, it was not possible to organize a community outreach/activity in a bigger and wider scale, not even in the Church premises or any local zones. Hence, the sisters collaborated with the family beneficiaries of the SCJM apostolate. It was then discerned and they have chosen a family (Michelle Malaga and her family) with spacious surroundings, that could possibly participate in clean-up drive and home gardening, at the same time pray with them, plant with them, be nourished with shared meals, joy, laughter and each other’s presence. It was indeed a wonderful Family Day at Home with Nature and A Day to Remember. “God Has Gifted Us To Give”. (A Theme engrained to celebrate the Philippines’ 500 years of Christianity.)

The sisters spent the whole day with the family in Malilipot Albay from 9:10 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening on May 22, 2021. They explained to the family the whole day’s schedule of activities and the purpose and meaning of the said event. In this matter, the family expressed that though they actually have space for garden, still, they do not have proper methods, ideas or approaches towards home gardening and planting fruit trees that could possibly yield harvest and income in the future.

The day started with a short prayer to Mother Earth, translated into their local dialect “Bicol”. Then, it was followed by a few minutes’ orientation that highlighted the importance of growing vegetables and other fruit trees; and also, the vital roles of the elders in giving the example to the young ones by living life in God and with the nature. To strengthen the family with team work spirit, the family members were divided into three groups, and one Sister was assigned to work with them.

After the group work, they all came together, cleaned the area and carried and re-used the logs by keeping them around the plants for protection. Also, logs protect the soil from being washed away and when decayed, they become nutrients to the soil. On the other hand, the sisters, together with the family members, have agreed to take care of the plants alternately among them. They have planted vegetables such as lady fingers, beans, eggplants; and also chili, lemon grass and dragon fruit; fruits trees like mangoes, guava, lemon; and flowering plants too.

Aside from praying and planting, they shared the blessings of cooking together, having meals and snacks together, and sharing their cooked food, wrapped with banana leaves, with the neighbors. It was also an opportunity to promote the SCJM charism to everyone the sisters encountered, especially the young ones. The sisters and the family, together with few friends, had their closing prayer in the afternoon, before the snacks, with the theme of the Holy Spirit-The Gifts and The Fruits. Then they spent some time together, sharing personal, family and friends’ stories, their feelings, ideas and experiences.

Above all, we thanked God, through the intercession of St. Joseph The Worker, for the day’s good weather. It was a miracle, since before that event and even after that day, there were rainy days and unfavorable weather conditions.

DIOS MABALOS PO! (GOD’S BLESSINGS!)

Sr. Madelene Nueza

 

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