Representatives of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM), Srs Delia Monrose and Cecile St Remy, and one of the ministries of the order, The Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development, hosted an environmental event in south Trinidad last Sunday.
Held at the Palmiste National Park, members of the public joined to help clean up plastic pollution under the theme #BeatPlasticPollution based on the World Environment Day 2018 theme, Beating Plastic Pollution.
The main objectives of the event were to raise awareness of practical ways to reuse or reduce plastic pollution, inspire citizens of our nation, the Caribbean and the world to become agents of change and caretakers of the environment, as well as encourage others in the community to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation in their everyday lives.
Sr Delia, in her talk to those gathered, said that the local environment was often taken for granted and abused due to ignorance. The fact that the Caribbean is one of the most biologically diverse marine regions in the world with over 13,000 plant species, over 12,000 fish and other marine species and ten per cent of the world’s coral reefs is one that is little known.
Giving the example of St Lucia, in which the Sisters currently serve, the harmful effects of water pollution is being felt by a populace where the majority rely on heavily on agriculture and fishing to make a living. Linking environmental issues to poverty, the depletion of fish as a result of plastic consumption will have direct impact on the ability of the population to sustain themselves and consequently, increasing poverty. The alleviation of pollution within the region and globally was thus described as a civic responsibility.
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother is a Third Order, Franciscan Religious Group of women founded in 1883 in Rome by a German woman, Venerable Frances Streitel. The sisters can be found in Italy, Germany, Austria, Brazil, USA, Africa and throughout the Caribbean in St Lucia, Grenada, The Dominican Republic and Trinidad.
For more information on the environmental work and ministry of the SSM, call 1 (473) 444-8111/422-5306 or contact them via WhatsApp 1 (868) 723-1694. – Adapted from a report submitted by Analisa Ramsahai