Season of Creation 2022: testimony
Season of Creation 2022: Testimony
Testimony of sr. Maria Fe Alonto from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist on how her community in the Philippines celebrates Season of Creation 2022 and implements Laudato Si’ in daily life.
Few days before the Season of Creation has started, three of our communities in Manila joined together for a forest bathing as a kick-off celebration. The sisters and formands were so excited to leave the city and spend a day in a farm.
We were welcomed by our farmer-couple friends with a breakfast which consist of batirol (a hot cocoa drink) and balisongsong (a specialty made of tapioca or cassava) which are a delicacy of the place. It was a pure delight having an outdoor breakfast amidst the greens. It was indeed a joy mindfully observing the surroundings, breathing fresh air, slowing down and paying attention to the colors, shapes, shadows, movements as well as discovering the difference between citronella and lemon grass as they look so similar.
The clean stream was also a sight to behold; its soothing rhythm ignites a serene feeling that made us more reflective and intentionally aware of where we are at the present moment. A sister was curiously glad to see the familiar edible snail clinging to a stone. There were small fishes too.
Basking the beauty and the energy-giving natural world, we felt a connection, a kinship with all creation. But our later experience made us realize that we still have to grow deeply in kinship with the not so sympathetic creatures like the leach. This was the little creature which made us ran in fear when a novice screamed seeing this blood-sucking parasite.
In this Season of Creation we want to renew our relationship with our God, with one another and with the created world. We opened the Season with the Holy Adoration, praying and committing ourselves in the following activities: enflame our Burning Bush where a sister, a child hangs an artwork flame on a tree each time she/he does a creation-friendly deed; regularize Earth-Hour every 25th of the month; Vespers, faith sharing, and recreation are to be done outdoor as well as Earth Examen, Energy audit and a weekly tech-sabbath be observed.
Sisters are encouraged to check on the materials used from the goods we purchase and see whether these products are ethically and morally produced; we consciously vote with our wallet.
At the culmination of the Season we will plant 500 trees, every community is involved.
Outside of the Season of Creation, we are trying to live by the Laudato Si’ teachings on a daily basis by adopting a sober humble lifestyle dedicated to service by producing our own food, planting various plants to keep the soil covered and to promote biodiversity, avoid single use articles, re-use and recycle, and support the development of the economically deprived, marginalized, and underserved young boys by providing them with holistic education and formation.
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