The Indonesian Catholic Student Union (PMKRI) held Catholic Millennial Summit in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi Province from May 20 to 21.
The theme of the event was "Integral Ecology Global Climate Action".
During the two-day ecological seminar and tree planting program, young people are invited to not only talk about the environment but to take real action for its preservation and sustainability of it.
"This activity is expected to become a fraternity movement for diversity, working hand in hand, so that there is no separatism that can divide the nation," explained Paul Gemma Galgani (27) who serves as Catholic Public Relations PMKRI center to RVA News.
He also emphasized that currently ‘Laudato Si’ (the second encyclical of Pope Francis) and environmental issues are the world’s concerns, therefore he invites young people to jointly echo the ecological call of the Catholic church to care for and protect the environment.
The Head of the Environment and Forestry Office of Southeast Sulawesi Province who was present at the program expressed his appreciation for PMKRI.
“This activity is extraordinary; it needs to be appreciated. Today, the issue of humanity is so important that the initiation by these interfaith youth needs to be appreciated," he said.
He also emphasized that "global warming and uncertain climatic conditions cannot be predicted, including the increase of extreme temperatures and the rising of sea levels. This is all caused by global warming. Therefore, we thank indeed and are grateful for what PMKRI does.”
He urged the young people to echo the importance of protecting the environment, "in order to overcome and reduce global warming, by doing various things, including tree planting,”
According to Gani, both the church, the government, and the surrounding community, in particular, are welcoming and support the activities initiated by the young people.
"This is a pilot project from the central PMKRI. We hope that we can schedule similar activities every year so that it becomes a routine PMKRI activity," he said.
Meanwhile, technical challenges, such as preparation, planning, and communication are among the obstacles that the organizing team must face considering that the program is the pilot agenda.
Anastasia Rosalinda (27), one of the seminar participants from Mamuju, West Sulawesi, explained to RVA News her feelings of pleasure and appreciation for this whole program.
“I, as a member of PMKRI, am happy and full of gratitude for this Catholic Millennial Summit. PMKRI brought us to better understand the messages of the Catholic Church in a simpler and concrete way, to participate in this event with interfaith young people,” she explained.
According to Rosalinda, the occasion became an extension of the Church's arm to convey to the public so that people understand that the Catholic Church cares about diversity and the future of our environment, our world, our mother earth, and our home.
Over 250 participants attended this program, including 13 community organizations, both Catholic and non-Catholic.
A total of 3500 mangrove trees have been planted in the Kendari coastal area to prevent abrasion. The trees were obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Southeast Sulawesi Province.
Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi is part of the Archdiocese of Makassar, with an area of 100,623 square kilometers.
There are 1.2% Catholic (161,417) of the total population of 13,847,670. There are currently 48 parishes in the Makassar archdiocese. - Emiliana Saptaningsih
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.