By Matters India Reporter
Miao, Oct. 4: A school in a small village in Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India, on October 4 marked the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi by teaching its students to treat animals as their siblings.
The Catholic Church reveres the 13th century saint as the patron of ecology.
Newman School Neotan in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh observed the day blessing its livestock. The in-charges of the various livestock in the campus brought rabbits, chicken, ducks, goats, cat, pig and lovebirds for blessing.
The students have been taught to treat the animals as brothers and sisters to foster love for them and nature.
“It gives me a completely different perspective to call the rabbit ‘Brother Rabbit’. As children of the same God who created everything, we are all brothers and sisters including the animals and birds,” said David Ngaimong, the rabbit caretaker.
School principal Father Felix Anthony told the students about St. Francis of Assisi’s “deep brotherly care” for all creation. He said most natural calamities these days such as the recent floods in Kerala, southern India, were the result of humans’ lack of love for the nature and all in it.
“Indiscriminate deforestation, selfishness and greed over the natural resources have caused ecological imbalance, leading to either too much or too little rain and many other natural calamities,” the priest said.
The feast of the patron saint of ecology, he added, is “a wake-up call” for all to love, protect and promote the nature, animals and birds. “What you do with the natural resources today will shape the fate of your next generation,” he cautioned them.
Father Anthony said such celebrations would inspire many more students to love, promote and protect the brother Sun and the sister water to safeguard the mother Earth.