Catholics Taking Action: Mindano, Philippines – Encouraging, facilitating community conversations on the care for creation

August 12, 2015

From August 4 through 7, the various episcopal sees of Mindanao have been doing “train the trainer” style training and outreach to raise awareness of the need for climate action among the faithful, in the light of Catholic social teachings.

Fray Tagoy Jakosalem, OAR, facilitated a Laudato Si’ workshop for the participants from the Archdiocese of Davao and Cotabato, and the Dioceses of Tagum, Kidapawan and Digos.  “Mindanao suffered much from the abuse of the environment,” he said. “Many Church people, priests, religious, and lay leaders offered their lives in defense of the forests and the island’s rich resources. But until today, profit is still valued over people. Rather, it should be people over profit.”

Mindanao Philippines August 2015


Social action directors, staffers, ecology desk campaigners, IP community organizers, and religious representing Mindanao’s various episcopal sees discuss ways on how to effectively educate the grassroots on the need for climate action.

The Recollect brother explained that they plan to collect as many as ten million signatures to GCCM and the Pope’s 1.5 C petition, ahead of the COP21 climate conference to be held in Paris this December.  They are primarily doing this by empowering the local church to encourage and facilitate community conversations on the care for creation.

“We aim to reach the ten million signatures along with grassroots environmental education, and with the mandate of CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) for ecological transformation” said Lou Arsenio, GCCM organizer and co-founder from the Archdiocese of Manila’s Ministry on Ecology.

Social action directors, staffers, ecology desk campaigners, Indigenous Peoples community organizers, and religious representatives from different congregations were all out in support for the campaign, vowing to help GCCM generate the target number of signatures, and to relay the message of Laudato Si’ to as many church communities as possible.

“We intend to reach the hearts of our people to care for our future,” said Rodne Galicha, country manager of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), which is teaming up with GCCM in delivering the campaign to communities.