Priest calls for ecological reflection this Holy Week

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


A PARISH priest in Davao City, awarded for his work in promoting sustainable farming among upland farming communities, called on Dabawenyos to reflect on Pope Francis' call to become environmental protectors this Holy Week.

"As we prepare for Lent, perhaps it would be helpful to practice the kenosis of Jesus, which is to learn to be self-emptying so that we can be filled by the essentials of life," said Fr. Stanley Young, M.J., of San Miguel Parish in Marahan, Marilog District.

Fr. Stan, as he is fondly called by his parishioners, was referring to ridding the self of the prevalent consumerist lifestyle, which promotes wasteful usage of resources.

"It is time to empty ourselves of the need to abuse or overuse our resources. As stewards of God's creation, we must be mindful of how we treat Nature so that we can minimize our collective carbon footprint," he said.

Fr. Stan, who is best known for converting his parish into a demonstration farm for organic farming using renewable energy sources, practices what he preaches. Because of this, he was awarded the 2012 Lunhaw Award for Sustainable Farming Practices last December.

He shared some suggestions on how Catholics can incorporate green practices during their Holy Week reflection.

"Cut down on energy consumption by limiting television viewing. Eat healthy, organic foods. At least for a week, stop eating chemically processed food," he said.

As an organic farming practitioner, Fr. Stan is also vocal about the need to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables especially in the city.

"Do some gardening. Spend this time touching base with God’s Creation, even as we reflect on the suffering, death and eventual resurrection of Jesus," he said.

Fr. Stan's message echoed Pope Francis's inaugural Mass homily in which the Pope called on Catholics to be "protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment."

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 26, 2013.

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