“We are all waiting at various levels, even waiting and praying for an end to these challenging times of the end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even what we will do at the end of today's event of tree planting is an invitation to wait in joyful hope since the four fruit seedlings we are planting will not grow overnight but take time, hence, a reminder of the wisdom of the axiom of Pope Francis that ‘time is greater than space,’” he said.
The Jesuit priest added, “Above all, we wait in joyful hope and in a mood of prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, making ours the prayer of the responsorial psalm of next week Sunday, ‘Lord, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.’”
Speaking to ACI Africa correspondent on the sidelines of the May 24 program, Fr. Kpanie touted the initiative of the youth network saying, “The day's event was auspicious for a number of reasons, foremost of which is to climax the Laudato Si’ Week 2020, five years since the encyclical was issued. But for us Jesuits in Ghana, it is auspicious also since it is the first time for us to celebrate Holy Mass on our property at Atomic Hills at the place earmarked as the future permanent site of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute.”
“We prayed and planted seedlings, believing that just as the seedlings will grow into full maturity over time, so also by our prayers and hard work of nurturing, the mission of the Jesuits in Ghana, particularly of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute, will grow and fully mature over the course of time,” he said.
The Founding Director of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute also touched on the need to keep the environment safe and averred, “It helps to understand that the earth as our common home is not only a Christian understanding but even more universal in scope.”
“For us, as African Christians, it resonates strongly with our primal cultures and religious outlook. The earth is a mother to us all and every child worth the name takes care of his or her mother in appreciation of the care he or she has received from the mother,” he stated.
According to the Jesuit Cleric, the reinstitution of arbor week celebration where tree planting is encouraged is laudable and suggested to the Church hierarchy to reconsider its reintroduction to save the environment.
“The arbor day concept is laudable and needs to be encouraged. The church can show leadership in this regard by having something of a tree planting exercise to mark each world day for care of creation which is September 1, each year,”' he said.
At the event, the President of IYNIGO, Ms. Scholastica Barimah emphasized the significant contribution of trees to the ecosystem, describing the initiative as “a groundbreaking one that sets the platform for many of such activities with a focus on caring for the environment.”
''It is an undeniable fact that planting of trees is of much value and importance to the world. So, to IYNIGO, the tree planting exercise we just had will help nature in mitigating global warming for the future of our children and to have a clean and safe environment for the next generation to come,'' Ms. Barimah told ACI Africa correspondent.