On the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, various organizations together with the Franciscan Order gathered at the Alameda church to pray and invoke the Divine and reaffirm the commitment to care for the Earth.
“We have convened and gathered here, inside this centennial convent, a territory where nature, memories, stories and venerable relics that bear witness to the experiences of other generations coexist. We make a deep silence within ourselves, to feel this presence, to listen to her breath, to perceive her heartbeat, to be moved by the manifestations of her benevolence, wisdom and love”, is part of what could be heard at the beginning of the celebration in the Franciscan church of Alameda.
The Franciscan Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), the Ecumenical Coalition for the Care of Creation and the Museo Arte Colonial San Francisco, were the convoking entities to this sign of love and respect for the Earth; and expressed their rejection of the Dominga mining-port project in the north of our country and called on the Constituents to propose and study an “Ecological Constitution” for Chile.
Rogelio Correa, of the Ecumenical Coalition for the Care of Creation, said that this desire was born from listening to many people throughout Chile: “We yearn and it is a struggle of many people, that the Constitution recognizes nature as a subject of law, as it exists in Ecuador and Bolivia so that we all also recognize that they are goods and not resources and that they belong to everyone and that we all must take care of them, restore them and that they are not infinite as to consume and depredate them as mining, large companies and we ourselves have done with our habits of consumption and treatment of nature.”
Part of the celebration is an ecumenical community dance and a prayer to the cardinal points and an invocation to the seven directions to reconnect with the wisdom and spirit of the native peoples in America and thus, join the wind that announces changes, the love that heals, the waters of being, the Earth from where everything emerges, where everything returns and towards the other dimensions of the Cosmos.
Inés Pérez, from the Base Community Oscar Romero Sur Austral, pointed out that “these spaces have to do with denouncing the abuses that are made on our part as humanity to the suffering Earth at this minute, but also of the political and economic systems that oppress people so that we can get to do all this. In other words, the people who are miners and who work in the mines are not to blame for the existence of extraction, because extraction is a policy of depredation of the Earth no matter what. So, we work to denounce this type of systemic abuse, of power over others. We are poor and we have to work and do what we can on this, but we also have to set limits so that we can continue to take care of the Earth,” he said.
It all culminated with a silent circle outside the Alameda church that reinforced this call to reject the Dominga project and all that harms and takes away from the care of Creation. “In this time, because of the pandemic, we have lost the visibility of the urgency that we have precisely what it is and what we are living today with this environmental crisis. Truly, we are in a very complex time if we do not act adequately and urgently. It is no longer an emergency, it is an urgency that we have”, explained by Brother Máximo Cavieres, Provincial animator of JPIC in Chile.
He added that projects such as Dominga, “do not help to improve this situation we are suffering. We do not need much explanation, the water crisis we are experiencing and the scarcity of rain, is placing nature in a very big problem and is affecting us all, in terms of food and a better life. That is why this act allows us to call attention and invite everyone to become more aware, but especially the authorities, especially at this time when we have an opportunity to include these issues in our Constitution”, he reflected.