Sharing in God’s Mission to Care for our Common Home

We, Columban missionaries, regard environmental protection as one of our priority ministries. This year, at the Hope Workers’ Center (HWC) in Taiwan, we  introduced the Care for Creation Ministry and made it intentional to be included in our plan of action and calendar of activities.


In past years, our efforts for this cause were limited to commemorating Earth Day in April and the Season of Creation in September by having symbolic offerings during the celebration of the Eucharist, using the various elements of creation such as the soil, water, plants, and the globe. Recently, we felt that we needed to exert more effort and strengthen our involvement by researching, preparing, and providing education and awareness regarding environmental concerns. We see the church as our best venue for reaching out to the migrant workers, including our volunteers, in realizing that this concern is not only an individual or a group concern, but a concern of all humankind and all life forms. Every month, we choose a theme that we wish to focus on for giving education and awareness to the parishioners during the celebration of the Eucharist. We have an additional Prayer of the Faithful and include a reminder during the church announcements, while also showing audio-visual materials on practical ways to reduce our garbage, avoid single-use plastics, and becoming a better consumer.


Migrant workers are among the biggest number of consumers in Taiwan and we encourage them to use a durable and eco-friendly bag when they buy groceries. We also urge them to buy only the clothes that they need and to use durable utensils which can be washed and re-used in order to avoid buying and using single-use disposable utensils. We also banned the use of balloons in activities and celebrations for our volunteers and explain to them the effects of these cute but harmful balloons to our environment. Through a series of constant education and reminders, we observe that many are becoming more mindful about the choices that they make. In November, we engaged in a Coastal Clean Up in the Taoyuan area. There were around 40 volunteers who participated. They expressed how they felt joyful and blessed to have joined us. We picked up a lot of smaller plastic waste which could only be seen if you moved the rocks. This was our first time, but definitely not our last time, to encourage more people to partner with us in this cause. We also had an evaluation after the activity during which we gathered many ideas and suggestions on how to do better and be more efficient next time. As I continue to educate myself through the help of the Laudato Si’ Animators course, we are inspired to have exciting activities lined up next year and we pray that more people, especially the migrant workers and immigrants, will slowly experience their own ecological conversion.