Bangladesh Catholic Bishops' Conference inaugurated a 400,000 (four lakhs) tree planting initiative at Mohammadpur CBCB Center in Dhaka.
"I am hopeful that by uniting with the global mullahs and the country, Bangladesh Catholic mullahs will be able to contribute at least a little bit to the natural balance and development of the country," said Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, the archbishop emeritus of Dhaka.
All over Bangladesh, about 400,000 Catholics are expected to plant one fruit tree each, said the religious leaders.
Cardinal D'Rozario said, "Trees play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature," and that due to population growth, "forests and trees are slowly declining. As a result, various natural disasters are hitting the world. In such a situation, the conscious community is emphasizing on maintaining the natural balance."
The program was launched to mark the Church's Laudato Si' Anniversary Year and the centenary of the birth of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's Independence.
The event was attended by all the bishops of other dioceses in Bangladesh and the leaders of Caritas Bangladesh.
Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi diocese said, "Urged the faithful to create a "clean and green environment" and to deepen "our love to take action to care for our common home."
Bishop Rozario told "the faithful to plant trees to help the environment. There are 70,000 Catholics in our Rajshahi diocese; therefore, 70,000 trees should be planted in the diocese."
"We need to create a culture of love for creation by giving up the culture of death," Bishop Rozario said.
Father Liton Gomes, executive secretary of Bangladesh's Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, reiterated the call of the Holy Father "to unite, to dialogue, and spread the Good News of Creation."
Meanwhile, Father Bulbul A. Reberio, director of the Christian Communication Centre in Dhaka, encouraged participants of the event to plant trees, help in the proper management of waste, and "preserve the environment."
Mr. Joseph Gomes, a parishioner of Dhaka, said, "We need to take care of our mother earth for the future generation because our earth is already polluted; that is why we are planting trees in our land. I express my thanks and gratitude to the Church leaders for their good initiatives."
The church leaders planted three local fruit trees inside the campus in a symbolic gesture of solidarity for the global observance of the season.
- Nikhil Gomez / RVA News