Delegates challenged to answer the call to care for Creation

Delegates at a photo call with Bishop Joseph Hii (seated, 3rd from right) and Clare Westwood (seated, centre)

PENANG — Bishop of Sibu, Bishop Joseph Hii led a group of eight laity from the Diocese of Sibu and Father Oniz to attend the 5th Justice and Peace Commission Workshop held at Stella Maris Retreat Centre, Penang.

Seven priests and twelve laity from the dioceses of Brunei, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Penang attended the workshop on 20-23 February. It centred on the Holy Father’s encyclical “Laudato Si’”, which reflects Pope Francis’ concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development for our common home. 

Clare Westwood, the facilitator of the workshop, has had extensive experience working in the area of food, agriculture, food sovereignty, biosafety and climate change. She presented related topics such as “State of the World and the Global Climate Emergency”, “Resilience and Creation Justice” and “Key Calls of the Laudato Si’” respectively. She also guided the group on how to strategically respond to the calls. Subsequently, Clare led the reconciliation ritual and the commitment ritual on two consecutive evenings.

The members of the Commission who attended the workshop reached a consensus to change the name of the commission from Justice and Peace Commission to Creation Justice Commission.

Bishop Joseph Hii, President of the Justice and Peace Commission was very happy with the outcome of the workshop. The commission’s vision always focuses on “in communion with creation” and he could see that this workshop has given the dioceses a clearer direction towards the care of Mother Earth and how to advance creation justice.

Bishop Joseph Hii is indeed passionate about ecological issues. He had “A prayer for the earth” and “A Christian prayer in union with creation”, two very meaningful prayers from Laudato Si’ printed onto cards for the use of Sibu Diocese.

The most impressive are the words EVANGELISATION: IN UNION WITH CREATION, “EGO Centred to ECO-Christ Centred” printed on the cards.

A vote of thanks and appreciation is extended to the Penang Diocese especially Bishop Sebastian Francis and Fr Andrew Stephen for graciously hosting the workshop.

Harapi Charles

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