World Day of Prayer for Care of the Creation celebrated with plogging
TAWAU, Sabah — In conjunction with the World Day of Prayer for Care of the Creation, some 225 parishioners from various communities, ministries and group combined their efforts in using an eco-friendly workout of 3K Run, Walk and Plog Programme. Plog or plogging simply means picking up trash while jogging. The name combines the Swedish term, ‘plokka upp’, or “to pick up”, and jogging, which started in Sweden in 2016. The programme was organised by the Holy Trinity Parish Human Development Committee (PHDC) held on the 1 September from 6.30 to 10.00 in the morning.
The objectives of this programme were to raise the awareness on the importance of caring and protecting the environment as parishioners and as an individual. An inspiration taken from Gen 1:29-31,”Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food.’ And it was good.” God indeed created the universe as a gift to man but also for us to look after and care for it.
Another objective is to create a sense of responsibility in living out our understanding of the social teaching of the church, in line with the Sandakan Diocesan Mission, to go deeper into the Gospel values. Respecting all of God’s creation, we must re-engage with our environment and take responsibility for it; live sustainably, live so that there are enough resources for everyone.
This first ever organised programme attracted parishioners from the four main communities namely, Filipino Pastoral Community (FPC), Chinese Pastoral Community (CPC), Komuniti Pastoral Indonesia (KPI) and Tinimungan Umat Kadazandusun/Murut (TUKAD) and other ministries or groups including Parish Pastoral Councils (PPC), Society of St Vincent De Paul (SSVP), Extraordinary Ministers of Communion (EMC), The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Neocatechumenal Way, Parish Youth Apostolate (PYA), altar boys, Legion of Mary (LOM), Hostel of St Clare’s Convent, CLC Holy Trinity School, Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Megah Jaya and outstation chapels from St Stephen Tass, St Paul Balung and St Francis of Asisi, Gudang 4.
During that event, some 315 kgs of rubbish were collected. They were mostly in the form of plastic bottles and bags, Styrofoam, and packets, also unused car tire dumped by members of the public along Holy Trinity Church area namely Kuhara, Guru, Mawar and Melati Roads. For the safety and emergency care of all participants, the PHDC was assisted by the traffic policemen from the Tawau District Police Department and The Catholic Nurses Guild (CNG) of Holy Trinity Church.
“2.2 billion Christians prayed for care of the creation which shows how important it is for us to protect and care for our home not only for the present moment, but our future generation and this what God wants us to do,” Msgr Nicholas Ong said in his short address to the participants.
Msgr Nicholas called on parishioners to take the opportunity to pray and take part in caring for the environment during the Season of Creation that begins 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through to 4 October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of ecology. He also called on the parishioners not to wait for others, and start making it a practice of saving energy, water and using organic fertilizers by making their own fertilizer from kitchen waste.
He also shared that 16 parishes in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu are doing its part by using solar energy. Msgr Nicholas announced that on the part of Holy Trinity Church, the church will be getting water tanks to collect rain water for watering purposes to save the usage of treated water and urged the parishioners to attend ‘Laudato Si’ and the Climate Crisis’ Workshop, which will be held at Holy Trinity Church Tawau on 26-28 October and learn about how to care for the environment.
The event ended with a closing prayer by Msgr Nicholas and a group photo taken.
(Republished with permission from Diocese of Sandakan)