Our earth, is Our responsibility - PD Beach Cleaning - 13.04.19

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"God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. Genesis 1:31"

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis in his encyclical letter on care for our common home, LAUDATO SI’ mi Signore (Praise Be To You, My Lord), have posed these questions, "What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? What is the purpose of our life in this world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?" (LS No.160). In a recent conference held in Vatican, Pope Francis emphasised and urged that each one of us to be ‘stewards’ for the care for Mother Earth as she is crying because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of goods with which God has endowed her. (LS No.2)

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In line with the Holy Father’s call and AOHD’s Lenten Campaign Theme 2019 "Caring for Our Common Home: Encounter Christ and Serve as Steward", Parish Priest of The Church of The Visitation Seremban, Rev Fr. George Harrison mooted the idea of beach cleaning as one of the activities during the lent season. The Parish Integral Human Development Ministry (PIHDM) under the leadership of John Davidson, initiated and organised a beach cleaning project on 13th April, 2019. Closed to 80 parishioners including Fr George, two religious IJ Sisters and Orang Asal took part in this project held at the Pantai Bagan Pinang, 3rd Mile, Port Dickson. Armed with hand gloves and rubbish bags, participants went about collecting all sorts of rubbish thrown and found on the beach. The two hours plus activity saw some 20 bags of rubbish filled with among others, pieces of styrofoam, plastic wrappers, straws and cigarette butt were collected. The activity saw parents teaming up with their children doing their part to clean the beach. Some children took the opportunity to play in the sea water under the watchful eyes of their parents.

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 "It was a good feeling of having done this activity as stewards of God’s creation", said Fr. George. He hopes that more and more people will be part of a great mission to save our planet earth. Sr. Gertrude IJ said, "Can we survive if we do not care and respect for Mother Earth”? Yes, we need to love and care for all the gifts that she has bestowed on us. We are indebted for everything that Mother Earth has provided us." She thanked the organizing committee for this awareness and opportunity to come together to clean the beach in Port Dickson. "I feel refreshed and grateful for God’s beautiful creation", Sr. Gertrude concluded. Another participant Angeline said, the beach cleaning was a very timely activity for her kids Kristen and Aaron Yin. "It was simple but very visual and impactful act as a community of God as they experienced what it means to be stewards of our Earth. Children have a natural affinity for the environment and this program exposed them to the reality of our dying Mother Earth." "My kids had fun and they didn’t need to be persuaded for activities related to nature and we did what we could to make Port Dickson a bit better." For Francisca and her two kids Rowena and Brendan said, "the beach cleaning was a meaningful activity that bonded us as one, especially during the Lenten season. Our earth is our responsibility." Before returning to Seremban, Fr. George and the participants said a prayer for Mother Earth and took a group photo.

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A word of thanks and gratitude to Rev Fr. George and all who have contributed to this article.

 For more photos, CLICK HERE .