‘CLEANLINESS DRIVE’ by ‘Environment Commission of St Sebastian Church- Bendore
Mangaluru: A few years ago it was decided to establish a special department for Ecology, as a response to the appeal of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si” published in 2015, in which the Pope urges all people of goodwill to take care of our universe. The proposal to establish an Environment Commission for Ecology was discussed in the 79th Executive Committee meeting of the CCBI held on 1 May 2018, at St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru. Being aware of the importance and urgency to respond to the environmental challenges in India and trying to embark on a new path to care for and protect the environment, the Bishops felt the need to establish a Commission deal.
And as a kind gesture, the Environment Commission of St Sebastian Church-Bendur on Sunday, 24 April, where the members showed up at the Church premises during the early morning hours at 7.30 am to start cleaning the vicinity around the areas of Bendore Church, Bendore Bus Shelter, and along the stretch of the road from Bendore to Shivabagh, and from Bendore to Kankanady area. And for all of you who are surprised to see the cleanliness of the said areas, you should be thankful to a group of members of the Environment Commission of Bendore Church, along with help from a few members of the Lions Club of Kadri, Mangaluru.
It is a very good initiative put forth by Pope Francis, and locally here our Mangaluru Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha encouraged the Catholic faithful to keep the environment clean and make Mangaluru stay ‘Green and Clean’. It should be noted that the nature around us is a gift from God to us, hence it’s our bounden duty to protect it at all cost. Already we are ruining this beautiful nature. We should stop it and promote such activities as the Swachh Bharat/Swachh Mangaluru Abhiyan so that we can pass on nature to our future generations. We need to appreciate the initiative taken by the Parish Priest of Bendore Church Fr Vincent Monteiro and Sujith Noronha-the Convener of Environment Commission for their sustained initiatives in this regard and for urging the faithful to join their hands in making Swachh Abhiyan of Mangaluru successful.
Cleanliness should become a part of our daily habits. As we clean our bodies daily with due care so should we keep our surroundings clean. The feeling that this house, city, and environment belong to me will greatly help in the success of this Abhiyan. Speaking to Team Mangalorean Fr Vincent Monteiro said, “Sound and clean environment is necessary to keep ourselves healthy and it is also our social commitment. Keeping our surroundings clean is our duty. Awareness must be created among the public on cleanliness. If citizens, NGOs, institutions, and Catholic Churches join their hands together in this drive, we can build a beautiful as well as clean environment. I am happy that the members of our Church Environment Commission have come forward and joined in this cleanliness drive to keep our City Clean”.
While Pope Francis has demanded swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin, urging the faithful to hear “the cry of the earth” and plunging the Catholic Church into political controversy over climate change, it is nice to note that the faithful of Bendore Church Environment Commission have taken this step in the cleanliness drive. Time is running out to save a planet “beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” and which could see “an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems” this century. So it is our duty to keep our surroundings clean and maintain a Clean and Green Environment- and just like members of the Environment Commission took this initiative of Cleanliness Drive, others need to follow in their footsteps in keeping Mangaluru Clean & Green.