Fighting ecological lethargy, Fr. Vincent Vaz’s leadership has turned awareness into action.
In the middle of a city mainly known for noise and air pollution, the parish council of Holy Family Church has taken a stand for ecological awareness. Fr. Vincent Vaz, pastor of Holy Family, has taken inspiration from Pope Francis and the encyclical Laudato Si’ in his approach to “caring for the common home”. He has asked the members of his parish, from the youngest to the eldest, to take personal responsibility for educating their fellow humans about contemporary ecological challenges AND to suggest concrete actions to combat those challenges.
In a socio-economic environment that could best be described as “middle class”, Fr. Vincent felt that his mission was to push his congregation from simple knowing about the sad state of the environment, to actually doing something to improve it. Among the changes made:
-Composting bins have been made available and parishioners are urged to bring their organic waste.
-Only potted plants are used to decorate the sanctuary in order to protect trees and plants.
-The main billboard at the entrance to the parish grounds announces the “Holy Family Green Campus” and highlights a series of precepts that ensure the ecological character of the parish.
-The deceased are wrapped and buried in a shroud rather than a casket. This reduces the use of rare and precious wood and has quickly become the common practice in the parish cemetery next to the church.