|Posted by AOE on March 18, 2019 at 8:35 AM|
The Archdiocesan Office for Environment (AOE) in collaboration with Muktisagar Prabhodan Kendra and St Vincent De Paul Society (SVP) – Dharavi Bet Area Council organised a one-day training programme in the premises of the church of Our Lady of the Sea in Uttan on 17th March 2019. About 140 SVP office bearers and members from different parishes of Bhayandar deanery participated in this training programme which was themed ‘Caring for Creation’ and ‘Greening of the Archdiocese’. Bishop Allwyn D’Silva and Fr Peter D’Cunha, Dean of Bhayandar deanery, were also in attendance. All the sessions were held in Marathi.
Fr Joseph Gonsalves, the Head of the AOE, set the ball rolling by making the participants aware about the ecological crisis and its serious consequences. Ms Pamela Fernandes helped the participants understand our interconnectedness with nature and how the abuse of creation can cause serious existential concerns for human beings and all living creatures. In an interactive style and using colloquial terms, Mr Luke Mendes charmed the participants as he explained in simple terms the meaning of climate change and its impact on livelihoods – especially on the fishing and the farming communities. In his address in the Marathi and English languages, Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, Bishop-in-charge of the Green Diocese Initiative, appealed to all the participants to take the issue of climate change seriously and to spread awareness among other lay faithful. He reiterated that responding to the ecological crisis is the mission of the church and hence all Christians must become environmentally conscious and adopt eco-friendly lifestyles.
In the post-lunch session, Fr Joseph Gonsalves presented practical and concrete ways to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. He briefly explained the Green Diocese Initiative and its five response components as well. The office bearers of the SVP Council have decided to collaborate with the AOE for future activities and programmes.