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Filipino seminarians plant trees to celebrate country’s Christianity


kram-9 | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 05/22/21

In celebration of 500 years of the Christian faith, a seminary is planting 500 trees.

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As the Philippines celebrates 500 years of Christianity, seminarians from Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Oro City will be rolling up their sleeves to do a little gardening.

As part of the country’s celebrations, the seminary has decided to plant 500 jubilee trees as part of the initiative: “500 Trees for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines.”

Yet the seedlings for the trees will go beyond the seminary walls. The seminarians have been asked to take a seedling home with them during their vacations and plant it in their home towns.

“This is the aim of SJVTS to mark this important year in the history of the Philippine Church,” shared the seminary’s academic dean, Fr. Reynaldo Raluto, with CBCP News.

While these little trees will be sprouting up throughout the Philippines, the “Vianney Jubilee Trees” are just part of the seminary’s efforts to address Pope Francis’ call to “care for the common home.”

Already six of the 500 trees have taken root, thanks to the efforts of Archbishop Jose Cabantan of Cagayan de Oro, his predecessor Archbishop Emeritus Antonio Ledesma, bishops Antonieto Cabajog of Surigao, Cosme Damian Almedilla of Butuan, Raul Dael of Tandag, and Malaybalay diocesan administrator Msgr. Noel Pedregosa, who started off the initiative on May 12.

The initiative is great for the environment as well as providing a fitting symbol for the 500-year anniversary. Hopefully, as the trees grow, so too will the country’s faith and love of Christianity.

If you’d like to help our Filipino brothers and sisters celebrate such a wonderful jubilee, and rise to Pope Francis’ challenge, you could plant a tree in their honor. You could even call it Vianney, too!

EnvironmentPhilippinesPope Francis
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