Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eco-friendly group seeks ‘green’ Nazarene devotion

A ZERO-WASTE advocacy group on Tuesday urged devotees of the Black Nazarene to commemorate the annual “Traslacion” with respect and care for public health and the environment. Millions are expected on Sunday, January 9, to participate in the reenactment of Traslacion, or the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from what is now Rizal Park (Luneta) to Quiapo.

In a letter sent to Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, the parish priest and rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed for a garbage-free celebration befitting the solemn occasion.

“We appeal to you and all the devotees of the Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno (Our Father Jesus the Nazarene) to unite in ensuring that the splendid affirmation of our Christian faith will also mirror our shared mission of caring for the environment,” wrote Roy Alvarez, the president of the waste and pollution watchdog.

“We hope this year’s Traslacion will see the devotees from Metro Manila and [beyond] fulfilling their spiritual vows in a way that will not aggravate the waste and sanitation problems in the Quiapo district,” it said.

“Please take personal responsibility for your discards,” Alvarez told the devotees in his letter. “With your help, we can turn the tide of garbage that has been spoiling this great communion of the faithful.”

To remind the devotees to care for Mother Earth as God does, the EcoWaste Coalition will cooperate with local barangay (village) leaders in hanging banners near and around Plaza Miranda, asking the public to prevent and reduce fiesta garbage.

The group said that past celebrations of the Traslacion have been blighted by massive wastefulness that has nothing to do with the people’s longstanding piety toward the Black Nazarene.

“We have seen streets traversed by the grand procession carpeted with various trash as if national and city laws against littering do not matter during the mammoth religious event,” Alvarez said.

“The massive littering tarnishes our [devotion] to the Black Nazarene that many of us beg for deliverance from life’s problems, including ailments that could have come from a polluted environment,” he added.

A cleaner and safer Traslacion, EcoWaste Coalition pointed out, fits well with the theme of this year’s celebration: “Yapak ng Poong Nazareno, Yakap ng Sambayanan sa Pagbabagong Buhay.”

“Our devotion to the Black Nazarene requires care and respect for His Creation,” Alvarez said.

He added, “It also matches the bishops’ call for ecological stewardship and conversion.”

In 2008, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines issued a pastoral letter on ecology, titled
“Uphold the Sanctity of Life,” which, among others, urged the faithful “to protect creation” and “to eliminate wasteful consumption.”


Post a Comment