Masvingo Deanery Catholic Youth Association (CYA), in the Catholic Diocese of Masvingo, Zimbabwe, espoused the Catholic teachings on environment by facilitating a cleanup campaign in the Central Business District of Masvingo on the 6th of April 2019 as a way of honoring God’s creation.
Masvingo Deanery CYA Spiritual Adviser, Sister Gwenhere managed to encourage youths in attendance of the sustainable initiative and also acknowledged the need for continuity in such programs especially at grass roots levels.
“I am glad we all managed to attend such a sustainable event, in which we took our precious time in taking care of the environment in which we live in and I urge you to continue the same initiatives even at your parishes as well and not just wait for the Deanery to plan such events,” said Sr. Gwenhere.
Thirty young people from Masvingo Deanery managed to attend the event, which is expected to continue throughout the year in respective parishes and missions. The parishes in Masvingo Deanery include St. Don Bosco, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Barbra Mashava and St. Patricks Gokomere.
As people of faith we should take care for each other and future generations by caring for all of God’s wondrous creation. God gave us clean air, life-sustaining water, fruits from the land’s harvests and even nourishment from the sea, thus it is everyone’s responsibility to take to the environment we live in.
Catholicism is concerned about climate change as exemplified in Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that it holds,” which calls upon everyone to swiftly value our relationship with God and God’s creation as global warming is for us Catholics, a profoundly spiritual, ethical, and moral issue.
Pope John Paul II said: “We cannot interfere in one area of the ecosystem without paying due attention both to the consequences of such interference in other areas and to the wellbeing of future generations.”
In a January 2010 address Pope Benedict XVI stated, “If we wish to build true peace, how can we separate or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life.”
Pope Francis has also encouraged the Catholic community to join in taking action against global warming.
Pope Francis has continuously reminded us that “Global warming continues…leading to ever more severe droughts, floods, fires and extreme weather events.” Pope Francis has also highlighted how climate change is impacting the most vulnerable in our society, saying “Climate change is also contributing to the heart-rending refugee crisis. The world’s poor, though least responsible for climate change, are most vulnerable and already suffering its impact.”