Ecological Christmas: from cans to Crib

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Fr Wilfred Sumani, SJ, Hekima’s resident liturgist, made an ecological Christmas by creating a crib from cans. This is an initiative inspired by Pope Francis’ call to care for the earth, our Common House. In Laudato Si, the Pope said “Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption” (n.23)

This call of Pope Francis is seriously taken by the Jesuits at Hekima University College (Kenya). Honore Onana Olah spoke to Fr Wilfred Sumani, SJ, Hekima’s resident liturgist, who created the ecological crib for Christmas:

Fr Wilfred Sumani Crib
The Crib made by Fr Wilfred Sumani, SJ

Our cities are strewn with beer cans crushed by vehicles and feet scurrying to various destinations.  While prophets of ecology churn out alarming statistics about the increasingly unsustainable levels of waste, not many heed Cornel West’s call to ‘tracking hypocrisy’ as one of the components of the prophetic thought: the plastic bottles, cans and plastic bags that deface our beautiful landscapes come from somewhere – our rooms, homes and communities!

This year, Hekima Jesuit Community decided to ‘walk the talk’ of environmental stewardship by transforming beverage cans and plastic bags into a Christmas crib. The cans were filled with soil, covered with newspapers and then coated with plastic bags. These cans were then joined one to another, using plastic bags as ‘adhesive’, to form building poles. The figurines of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were also made from plastic bags, while the mat on the floor was ‘sewn’ by folding newspapers and then coating them with slices of plastic bags. The manger is made out of sawdust held together with wood glue. A total of 50 cans, over a hundred plastic bags and numerous newspapers were used to make the crib.

Honore Onana Olah, SJ

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