Many thanks to Rita Belletty our fantastic CAFOD volunteer at St John Bosco in Woodley for sending us these photos of the parish’s Creation Mass and Harvest Offering.
Rita told us,
“The first photo (above) shows the token harvest offering and the globe being taken up at the offertory. The offering is something that the donors have grown themselves, be it vegetable, flower, or herb.
“It is a token offered back to God in thanksgiving for the gift of fruitful earth, sun and water, joined by our own labour, making us co-creators with God.
“The second offering (below) is a globe which was taken up to remind us that it is the whole world we are praying for.
“The Creation Mass was started when Fr Chris Whelan offered to say a Mass for the environment; the ‘Harvest Offering’ was added a year or two later, with the purpose of emphasising our relationship with the earth and co-operation with God in the work of creation.”
St John Bosco was one of the first parishes to achieve the livesimply award but as Rita says,
“The Award is not an end in itself; rather it is encouragement to keep trying to change from consumption to better stewardship of creation.
“Last November we followed CAFOD’s Laudato Si’ Study Guide and we’re considering whether to have another stab at studying this encyclical in greater depth next Lent. It will be necessary for participants to read the document – 180 pages but it is easy reading and very rewarding.
“In March, a team from our parish took part in the Woodley Litterpick whilst on Good Friday the Hunger Lunch was well supported and raised £105 for CAFOD.
“In May we held a Creation Walk (photo on display board) at the ‘church without walls’in Highwood in Kingfisher Drive, to reflect on and pray for creation. We then held Walk to Church in early July. For the first time I had the pleasure of walking home from Mass with other parishioners (beginning to fulfil our vision of one day, people attending all churches in Woodley leaving their cars at home and meeting each other on the street). Oak trees come from acorns, don’t they?”
“Last year Pope Francis designated September 1st as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation so this year we asked everyone in the parish to join the world in prayer, either at Mass or for say, 15 minutes in church, in their garden, or wherever, at any time that is convenient.”
Thank you so much Rita!
Download the encyclical and find resources to reflect and respond to Laudato Si’ in the light of your faith.