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Climate Consciousness & Action Forum 2018

Talk given by Fr. Fred Bugarin, Executive Officer of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, Dec 6, 2018.

Introducing the PROGRAMS and ACTIVITIES of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary

If I may, I would like to begin by reading the Preamble of the Earth Charter Initiative of the United Nations:

We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations. (Preamble, UN’s Earth Charter Initiative)

Friends, I am to talk to you about our programs here at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary. Why then did I begin by sharing with you the Preamble of the Earth Charter Initiative of the United Nations?

Programs come and go. There are endless projects some more successful than others. No doubt activities will continue to proliferate the scene here at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary. But the goal is the same: to build a One Earth Community. This is what we are about here at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary. This is our guiding principle as we design new programs and replace old ones. It is not a difficult task but a delicate one. It is like putting new wine into old wineskins (Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22 and Luke 5:33-39). If you are not careful, the wine skin will burst.

Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is 25 years old this year. This is only a tiny fraction of a second in the life of the Universe which is 13.7 billion years. So we create programs for our time knowing that they, like mission itself, must evolve.

To this end, in the interest of building a One Earth Community, we are committed and ready to

1. Offer retreats, seminars, days of prayer and reflection, things Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary has been doing since its conception;

2. Educate and train guests in organic gardening, composting, permaculture, vermiculture and waste management.

3. Make available our facilities and grounds to the local community and those outside who wish to have a respite in the cool air and sweet smelling pines of Baguio.

4. Provide lodging to visitors who cannot find room in the inns of our city.

But we are not just a venue for all those things I mentioned. We bring the message of a One Earth Community to outlying villages and distant towns and cities; to people of all cultures and faiths who would welcome us, who would be willing to share in our mission of building communities with a passion for safeguarding the Earth and all that live in it, those committed to preserving a healthy and safe environment for all.

Yes, programs come and go but our goal is always the same: to Build a One Earth Community.

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