CEBU CITY, Dec. 29 – The celebration of the environment mass will continue next month, during the nine-day novena mass in honor of the Feast of the Sr. Sto. Nino de Cebu.
The activity, which is aimed at disseminating the Catholic teaching on caring for the environment, is already in its third year, according to co-organizer Fr. Tito Soquino, OSA.
The focus of the mass is in line with this years fiesta celebration theme, which is on the family as stewards of creation, he said.
Soquino said they will continue celebrating the mass to mainstream environment issues during the countrys largest religious celebration, with highlight on the importance of protecting the environment.
The environment mass is like any ordinary mass but the aim of the celebration is to inform the people of the state of ecology and encourage them to work on preserving and conserving natural resources.
The order of the Society of the Augustinians or OSA is the caretaker of the centuries-old image of the Holy Infant Jesus and recently the Ecce Homo or the sculpture of the suffering Christ at the Basilica del Sto. Nino in Cebu City.
The feast day celebration in honor of the Sto. Nino held on the third Sunday of January.
Soquino said the ecological awareness advocacy through the Duaw (Visit) Sto. Nino has reached the provinces of Bohol and Leyte.
This (Duaw Sto. Nino) is an extension of the environment mass. This is the promotion of the devotion to the Sto. Nino in the context of environmental protection, he said.
Soquino recalled that the traditional foot procession, which is held on the eve of the fiesta celebration, was conducted despite heavy rains.
The procession itself was a wake-up call, said Soquino.
He noted it was also in January this year that the cloud burst phenomenon occurred in Metro Cebu, which caused unprecedented heavy traffic and floods.
Last January 25, Metro Cebu experienced 35.7 millimeters (mm) of rainfall in less than two hours or 10 times the daily average.
There are also the issues on the need to clear river easement zones, construction of drainage systems, formulation of a master plan and the recent floods that displaced hundreds of families.
God is not punishing us, we bring it upon ourselves. God is reminding us to start listening to what is happening to the environment, said Soquino.
The incidents of strong downpour were a way to get us into action, he said. (PNA) LAP/LAM/EB/re