|Posted by AOE on February 3, 2018 at 10:50 AM|
Programme Report by Santan Fernandes
In a first of its kind event, the Archdiocesan Office for Environment (AOE) and the Diocesan Catechetical Center (DCC) collaborated to organise the ‘Green Bal Melava’. This all-day event was conducted specifically for catechism students of standards 7th to 10th. It was held on 21st January, 2018 at St Pius X College, the Archdiocesan Seminary in Goregaon. The theme for this event was ‘Nurturing Faith through Nature’.
The Green Bal Melava is an inspired initiative of the AOE with the goal to promote and foster Pope Francis’ message to Care for Creation within the hearts and minds of the students. The goal of this event was to make sure that the children are made aware of:
- The different issues that damage our environment today
- Their importance as Change-Makers in building the future of this planet
- The small initiatives that they can take to make a difference.
389 Sunday school children and 70 catechists from 37 parishes participated in the ‘Green Bal Melava’. The event began with a short introduction on Laudato Si' and also a personal video message sent by His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias. In his short address, Cardinal Oswald thanked the children for their participation and highlighted their role as the future hope of our planet and also of our diocese. After a short prayer service, the children then participated in few ice-breakers. The key-note speaker for the event was Mrs. Reena Joseph an environmental activist from the city of Mumbai. She focused on various environmental issues in our city and how we can all help remedy the situation. As a retired teacher, she showed her experience in managing kids as she made the session lively and very creative with appropriate use of audio-visual material.
After the session we celebrated the Eucharist in the main chapel presided by Fr Vincent D’Cruz, the Director of the Diocesan Catechetical Center. In his short and interactive homily, he preached on the discernment of the vocation and also connected to our vocation as Guardians of our environment. The after lunch program was highly interactive as the children were led in ice-breakers, energisers and action songs. After these interactions, all children were engaged in solving different Life Scenarios. These Life Scenarios were topical issues on Environment, Waste Management, Energy Conservation and so on. The children were also given hands-on tutorial on how to make paper based dustbin bags for dry waste. Humorously, these paper bins were also used as hats by many of the children as they moved to the Seminary grounds for the Tele games. As the program came to its end, His Lordship Bishop Allwyn D’Silva met the children and he once again reemphasised Pope Francis’ message to care for creation. Fr Joseph Gonsalves, Head of the AOE, then spoke words of gratitude for all the participants, catechists and the Seminarians who animated and helped in the organisation of this huge event. As the children left, each of them were presented with a special take-away mug with the event logo and Pope Francis’ message from Laudato Si' - 'Less is More’.
As we take an account of the day, we observed huge participation from the various parishes, the attentive and enthusiastic participation of the children in the sessions and activities conducted and their determination to be the change agents in safe guarding and preservation of our future. We surely can conclude that this was a day when we ‘Nurtured Faith through Nature’.