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Parish priest sells tea during Farmers’ Market in Singapore

Jesuit Father Colin Tan, parish priest of St Ignatius Church, Singapore (Photo by Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific)

A parish priest of a Jesuit-run church in the Archdiocese of Singapore sold herbal tea during a Farmers’ Market of the Gardening Group of the Green Movement on September 24.

Some of the produce on sale came from within the parish. Even Jesuit Father Colin Tan, a parish priest participated by selling his own blend of "Fr Colin's herbal tea", which according to him consisted of a brew of Moses in A Basket (Tradescantia spathacea), wolfberry, and pandan.

The parish of St Ignatius in Singapore at King’s Road held a farmers' market for the celebration of the Season of Creation, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

Before the pandemic, the parish used to hold the Farmers’ Market twice a year.

The Season of Creation is an annual Christian event that takes place from Sept. 1 (World Day of Prayer for Creation) to October 4 (Feast of St. Francis), during which Catholics around the world pray and act to care for the earth.

The theme for this year is "Listen to the voice of creation."

Small-time farmers in Pontian, just north of the border, supplied fresh vegetables and fruits. Fruits and herbs grown by the parish were also included.

Members of the Gardening Group of the Green Movement also spent months growing decorative potted plants and air plants from cuttings, which were then sold at the market.

Children could even learn how to grow their own plants in one section. For a small fee, they were given a pot, a small spade, some soil, and the plant of their choice. It was an attempt to provide firsthand experience to the younger generation of what it means to play a small role in caring for our common home. 

Archbishop Marek Zalewski, the Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore (second from right), showed his support (Photo by Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific)

"Everyone, no matter how small, plays a role in caring for our environment. It is critical to raise environmental awareness. We are all working together on this worthwhile project. I am overjoyed to see so many people come to this market," said Patricia, the head of the market's organizing committee this year.

As usual with any church event, home-cooked food was available for sale. These were made with loving care by the group members.

The founding members of Food Loops were on hand to promote their composting program. 

People signed up to get their food waste (only raw vegetables and fruit peels) collected and composted in certain locations. Sawdust (to prevent bad smell) and a container were provided where compostable waste can be stored at home before collection can be done twice a week.

Several other events have been organized for the Season of Creation this year at the parish level, including a tree planting event with the National Parks Board Singapore. 

These events are a wonderful start to the parish Laudato Si Action Plan. It is hoped that the annual Season of Creation may be celebrated by the various parish ministries in a cohesive and symbiotic way.  

Archbishop Marek Zalewski, the Apostolic Nuncio to Singapore has always shown great support for initiatives for the environment. 

The city-state has 5.7 million residents. Christians constitute approximately 15% of the population. The Archdiocese of Singapore, which includes the entire island, has 360,000 Catholics divided into 32 parishes. - Francis Lim/Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific 


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