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Participants in outdoor Mass at Mission Espada are called to protect the environment

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Caring for Creation was the theme of an outdoor mass celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller at Mission San Francisco de la Espada.

“We are, with this Mass, thanking God for the gift of creation and to be able for us in thanksgiving to take care of it,” he said.

People of all ages, including a large group of students from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, attended the Mass. The archbishop called the youngsters to the front as he asked them to do something daily to protect the environment.

“To do something, little things to take care of Mother Earth, a gift from God,” said the archbishop.

Archbishop celebrates outdoor Mass at Mission Espada/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

He urged everyone to read Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ document on “Care for our Common Home.”

“The environment, the air, the water, the land–these are gifts to us to be handed on to our grandchildren,” the archbishop said Sunday.

Following the Mass, he led a 1-and-a-half-mile procession to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Participants stopped at various points, including the Tree of Life sculpture with hundreds of clay pieces hanging from the steel structure. Volunteers offered tips on protecting our environment, everything from recycling to using less water. Participants were told they can save several gallons of water  by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and shaving.

Tree of Life-Mission Reach/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

Sunday’s Caring for Creation Mass and pilgrimage ended the 4th annual World Heritage Celebration marking the designation of San Antonio’s five missions as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The five missions are the Alamo, Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Francisco de la Espada.

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