Eco-Spirituality Immersion Program
August 8, 2023
Every year, the SND Eco-spirituality Center in Gang-Hwa runs ESI (Eco-Spirituality Immersion) programs for participants of different age groups from parishes, welfare centers, and schools as well as participants of various units such as religious congregations and seminaries. The length of these programs can be determined by the participants’ requests, but usually consist of three to five days.
From June 12 to July 10, 2023, we had special ESI programs for our sisters from India and Africa. Sr. Mary Assunta and Sr. Mary Josephine from the Patna Province and Sr. Mary Digna and Sr. Mary Catherine from the Holy Spirit Delegation of East Africa were the participants. They were open-minded to learn throughout the program and made efforts to live eco-spirituality as members of this community.
First, they were encouraged to seek the right attitude needed to become ecology-oriented through the history of the eco-spirituality center. Then they tried to take on a more autonomous stance by being conscious of religious roles and identity in this era of climate change. They went on to reflect on their concrete actions on both personal and community levels during the journey of 7 Years of Laudato Si’ in the direction of the Church. In addition, they looked into a way of conveying the right understanding of ‘life agriculture’ and ‘farming ministry’ in our life. Eco-education with Kett Pedagogy was also introduced to them. Sisters had a chance to catch a glimpse of Korean history and culture and understand the Korean Church through stories about the martyrs.
After the formation for awareness, we also had time to see, feel, and experience the recycling waste sorting site, the Nanji Water Reclamation Center, the site of the Wednesday demonstration for comfort women abused by the Japanese military during World War II, and the site of the Friday Climate Action.
Sisters were also given an opportunity to experience actual programs given to children, the handicapped, and adults in the Eco-spirituality Center.
Despite a language barrier, it was a transformative time for us all to grow into sisterly love in our one SND charism.