A Spirituality that brings Life
The Edmund Rice Formation team has just returned from a visit to the Philippines to meet with staff and those engaged in Edmund Rice Ministries in Kabankalan, Cebu and Maasin. Key to these visits was the opportunity to spend time with the staff from each ministry, to hear and learn what inspires them and moves in their hearts.
The experience that struck me most strongly was a visit to the Badjao community, living crowded together on the very edge of a narrow strip of land between the ocean and a government approved housing estate. This strip of fragile land is subject to flooding at high tide, has no governmental support, infrastructure or recognition and is overrun continually by the wash of the world’s discarded plastics, pooled in ocean currents and deposited here on the island of Lyette.
Randy, Edmund Rice Project Officer and Badjao young people
The Edmund Rice Ministry in Maasin is working closely with the local Badjao community to address a number of critical health issues that seriously impact their wellbeing. An inspiring member of the Edmund Rice. team, Randy has deliberately chosen to live in the community with the people. Having engaged with the community at this deeper level, the Edmund Rice Ministry is working to build among the people a sense of community, to educate in regards health and hygiene and on a very practical level to address the absence of working toilets.
This tiny fragile strip of land was once a flourishing mangrove forest, providing a healthy transition zone between the ocean and the land, a feeding and breeding ground for fish and a nesting space for a myriad of bird and insect life. Today sadly, only remnant mangrove trees remain, littered with plastic waste. As Edmund Rice people we are
challenged to listen deeply to the cry of Earth and the cry for justice. Here a short hour drive from Maasin, on the island of Lyette, the Edmund Rice movement is building relationships through community engagement, in a desire to bring about life and justice.
The Edmund Rice Ministry team leading a community meeting
Peter Hay Province Formation Coordinator