“PRAISE be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us…” – from the canticle of St. Francis of Assisi
A TRIBUTE concert for mother earth, the Laudato Si’ Concert, was held at the Atrium of the Limketkai Center last October 3, 2015 as part of the “Season of Creation celebration” by the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City.
“This concert is a tribute to mother earth and the integrity of creation in response to the encyclical of Pope Francis,” said Johnny Raymond “Ding” Cabreira, the executive director of the event, “So this is in praise of all creation. And if you praise creation, you are praising the Creator.”
Pope Francis released his Papal encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, last May 24, 2015. Literally meaning “praise be to you” and taken from the Canticle of the Sun, a religious song composed by St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Ecology, the encyclical is the Pope’s appeal to everyone, regardless of culture, faith, or nationality, to address a pressing issue that should concern every single living thing in the planet, the care of our environment.
Transcending social and theological boundaries, the concert was a multicultural and interfaith collaboration, which brought together various sectors of the society through the use of a common language, the language of music. Performers include Friends and Music, UCCP Praise and Worship Team, Playing for Change Band, Dodu Abrio and the Viajeros, Moresco –1 Power Band, BSU Chorale, as well as tribal bands such as Daraghuyan and Apolang Tribal Youth Band of Malaybalay, Sinanglay ang Yagunyong Ta Impasugong of Impasugong, Kalayag Tribal Band, and Waway Saway and Kadugo Band.
One of the goals of the concert is to open the minds and the hearts of the people, that it is already time to take responsibility in the management and care of our environmental resources.
“We should be mindful of our home, our shared home, mother earth, because if we do not take care of the earth, what happens? We all vanish,” Cabreira added, “It has to be a burden that requires a spiritual and moral revolution within the heart of every human being.”
“This evening’s concert, a tribute to mother earth, is part of our culminating activities for the Season of Creation,” Msgr. Florencio Salvador said in his speech, “For six weeks now, the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro has been reflecting on the theme ‘Nature – God’s superfluous Gift of Providence, Stewardship – Humanity’s Collateral Manifestation of that Covenant’.”
Celebrating this season since August 28, 2015, the Archdiocese has been busy with a number of activities such as a slogan and poster making contest, an environmental lecture, and beach cleanup.
He added saying, “Brothers and sisters, mag pabilin unta kitang mapasalamaton ug madaigon sa kabuhong sa kinaiyahan nga larawan sa labing gamhanang nga magbubuhat. Magpabilin unta kitang kasaligan nga gibinlan niining tibuok na kalibutan nga kumon na puloy-anan natong tanan.”
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma was not able to attend the event but left a video message for the participants: “We also keep in mind that nature itself is God’s gift to all of us. It is the first revelation of God himself, the beauty and the design of nature is a reflection of the beauty and goodness of God.”
He further encourages the active participation and contribution of every individual to the cause, “Let us also commit ourselves to the protection and conservation of the environment as our way of saying thank you to the Lord.”
“The earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.” – from the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ of Pope Francis
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 06, 2015.