All Souls Day in Goa was an eco-friendly affair this year


After an appeal from the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP) to avoid using non-biodegradable materials like foam, plastic, thermocol and silver foil to decorate graves this All Souls Day, parishioners opted to make the celebration an eco-friendly one.

An eco-friendly All Souls Day

The appeal from the Archdiocese’s Caritas Goa and the Council for Social Justice and Peace to reduce plastic, circulated to all churches and chapels, was read out to parishioners during the announcements during mass on Sunday and during the daily services in the run-up to Thursday.

Going by the earnest request, the faithful ensured that all the plastic wrapping and silver foil was removed from flower bouquets before entering the cemetery, leaving it looking beautiful.

Fr Myron Barreto, assistant parish priest at Our Lady of Rosary Church, Navelim said extra efforts were taken to ensure the cemetery was spotless, in time for All Soul’s Day.  “We also instructed our caretaker to ensure that there was no plastic waste,” he said.

At the Holy Spirit Church cemetery in Margao, notices were posted at the entrance with instructions to keep the cemetery clean and free from plastic waste.

St Inez parishioners only used fresh flowers without plastic and silver foil wrapping, leaving the cemetery looking beautiful. Soulful music playing in the background helped set the right mood for the faithful paying respects to beloved and departed family members.

Keeping things clean, green and eco-friendly

The Church’s appeal to alter each person’s lifestyle by avoiding the use of non-biodegradable and toxic items doesn’t just extend to such holy days. The request also encompasses other church functions and religious activities like anniversaries, parish meetings, Church programmes and while serving refreshments at the visitation of the Our Lady.

A parishioner from Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, Panaji, Rui Ferreira, welcomed the initiative the Church has taken. “If we don’t start ourselves, how can we correct other ills plaguing the environment?” he questioned.

“The issue is a serious one as Panaji doesn’t have a place to throw garbage, not even biodegradable waste, as of today,” he said. Referring to Justice Gautam Patel’s statement that Goa is a land truly worth fighting for, Ferreira said the council for social justice must play a bigger and more proactive role in supporting those fighting against environmental degradation in the state.

The state government is also taking its own steps to eliminate plastic. Our chief minister, Manohar Parrikar refuses to accept bouquets wrapped in plastic when invited as chief guest for functions and speaks out openly against the used of plastic at government functions.

Source – TOI