By Robin Gomes
In remote north-east India’s Arunachal Pradesh state, bordering China and Myanmar, Catholics of Miao Diocese observed the Laudato Si’ Week, May 16 – 24, in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the Pope’s groundbreaking encyclical, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home".
Participating in the weeklong celebration, Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao reminded the people to be a friend to mother earth and not its master.
A highlight of the week was an open-air Holy Mass the bishop celebrated with some 20 people at the Little Flower Convent in Neotan village of Changlang district, on May 22, which is observed as International Day for Biological Diversity.
Concelebrating with him at the altar was Father Felix Anthony, the principal of Newman School in the village.
Bishop George said that the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown are not only a time for us to reflect on our interconnectedness with creation, but also a time for the earth to heal itself of the damage we have caused.
The faithful presented saplings together with bread and wine at the offertory procession.
The celebration concluded with the planting of the saplings around the campus of the Carmelite Missionary Nuns in the village.
The Laudato Si’ Week, which was observed worldwide, culminated on the anniversary five years ago, when Pope Francis signed his encyclical on 24 May 2015..
The anniversary day also kicked off a year-long celebration of the encyclical with programmes and initiatives across the globe, aimed at bringing about the “ecological conversion” that the Pope so earnestly desires.