Chattogram Archdiocese Plans for 33,000 Tree Plantation During the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year

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Diocesan Administrator Fr. Leonard C. Rebeiro is inaugurating the tree plantation program.

Chattogram Archdiocese plans for 33,000 Tree Plantation to celebrate the Special Laudato Si’ anniversary year, the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman and the golden jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh. The program is inaugurated in every parish at once by a Eucharistic Celebration on Friday, 25 September 2020 followed by plantation of the trees. The central celebration took place at the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Chittagong in which the Diocesan Administrator Fr. Leonard C. Rebeiro presided over the Eucharistic Celebration and inaugurated the program by the planting of the first tree. Asst. Parish Priest of the Cathedral Fr. Silvanus Hembram was also present during the inauguration. Diocesan Financial Administrator Fr. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira, Principal of Brother Flavian KG School Holy Cross Brother Hamlet Gochal, Principal of St. Scholastica’s School & College RNDM Sister Shilpi Celine and Acting Regional Director of Caritas Chattogram Region Mr. Remi S. Das planted the other four trees following the Diocesan Administrator. The parish priests and parishioners of other 10 parishes and 2 sub-parishes undertook a similar program at the local level.

The Holy Father Pope Francis signed the Encyclical ‘Praise be to You – Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home’ on 24 May 2020. Since then, the deepest message in the encyclical went beyond the boundary of the Church and touched the hearts and motivated actions of many people, government, politicians and world organizations like UN.

On 24 May 2020, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the encyclical, Pope Francis announced a Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year from 24 May 2020 to 24 May 2021.

“I invite all persons of goodwill to adhere to it, to take care of our common home and our more fragile brothers and sisters”, said the Pope.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has been entrusted with the promotion of this Special Anniversary Year in “partnership” with everyone, to create a movement of people from below for the care of our common home and the weaker members of our common household and biotic community. Vatican City launched a dedicated website (click here) as a part of the promotions.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh launched a 400,000 tree plantation program on 14 August which will be carried over by the eight dioceses in the country. Chattogram Archdiocese formed a committee of nine members headed by Fr. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira to plan, execute and evaluate the year-long activities to effective celebrate the special Laudato Si’ anniversary year. Other members in the team are Fathers Lintu Absalom Roy, Sadhan Augustine Gregory, Sr. Nisha Gagra SSMI, Mrs. Moury Paroy, Messrs. Remi S. Das, Mickey Gonsalves, Flavian D’Costa, Calvin Gonsalves.

The anniversary opened in Vatican City with Laudato Si’ Week 2020, and will proceed with several initiatives, realized in partnership and with a clear emphasis on “ecological conversion” in “action”. The Dicastery invited everyone to join them. The urgency of the situation calls for immediate, holistic and unified responses at all levels – local, regional, national and international. They stated the need of above all, “a peoples’ movement” from below, an alliance of all people of goodwill. As Pope Francis reminds us, “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (LS, 14)

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