Reflection on the ‘Season of Creation’

A Buddhist monk and a Catholic church worker plant a tree together in Myanmar. (Contributed photo)

Raymond Kyaw Aung, RVA News

The Catholic Church launched this year’s “Season of Creation” on September 1.

I saw photos on Facebook of priests planting seedlings. “SVD Fathers and Fratres planted fruit-bearing trees as we begin the celebration of the Season of Creation 2021,” read the caption.

When I saw it, I remembered the day I planted seedlings in Pain Nel Chaung village, Myaungmya township, Ayeyarwaddy Region, Myanmar, on Sept. 18, 2017. 

Pain Nel Chaung village belongs to the Chanthargone parish in the Diocese of Pathein.

Caritas in the Diocese of Pathein organized the event. I received an invitation and I was excited to participate.

The parish priest of Chanthargone, Father Wilson Vincent, invited me to stay in the clergy house so that we can go together to the village the following day.

Father Raymon Kyaw Aung plants a seedling in Pain Nel Chaung village. (Photo supplied)

I slept overnight at his parish house. The following morning, we went together to the village. There were already other Catholic priests and Buddhist monks in the venue.

The Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Anglican priests, and government officials from the Ministry of Forest in Myaungmya took their seats on stage.

Father Henry Eikhlein, the facilitator, Father Peter Myat Thura, director of Caritas, and an official from the Ministry of Forest, delivered talks on the importance of the environment.

After the first session, we walked along a muddy road to begin planting the seedlings. The officials from the Ministry of Forest demonstrated how to hold the seedlings and how to plant them.

The participants were delighted to join the celebration although it was raining.

It was an “inter-religious dialogue in action.” I realized that we can work together for our “common home” despite being people of different faiths.

Everyone, regardless of religion, has the responsibility to take care of the environment and fight the global climate crisis.