By Francesca Merlo
"Prayer, fasting and alms-giving". According to the AOHR Lenten campaign, these are necessary in order to create space for an “encounter with Jesus”. The season of Lent, reads Kuala Lumpur's Archdiocesan Office for Human Development website, offers us an invitation “for an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith”.
Along with their Lenten message, promoting the words of Pope Francis through his "Laudato sí" encyclical, in which he asks us to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”, the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has Power-points, Kit books and Action sheets available on their website.
One of the action sheets, translated into several different languages, is a Lenten calendar. More specifically, a 40-Day Lenten walk. Along with asking for prayers for peace, help with chores, and to be kind and helpful to family and those in need, the walk involves some tasks aimed specifically at caring for our common home. Day 13 asks that we “grow a plant and look after it”, whilst day 25 that we “start recycling cans, paper and tetra-paks and care for nature”. Closer to Easter, one day’s tasks is to “preserve the environment by remembering to turn off the lights and water taps”.
The AOHR promotes activities concerning charity, integral human development, justice and peace within the Catholic Church’s Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese. Its mission is the holistic development of the whole human person and of all peoples, especially the weak, disadvantaged and marginalised.
Becoming a 'Laudato sí' parish
The Kuala Lumpur archdiocese makes the benefits of becoming, what they call a “Laudato sí” parish very clear, and highlights the responsibility each of us has, as an individual and as a member of our parish to truly help care for our common home.